Russia's Kosmos TV shut down to make way for LTE

Editor | 13-08-2012

Russia's oldest pay TV service, Kosmos TV, is shutting down after 20 years in the market in order to fre up spectrum for 4G LTE wireless broadband services.

The Moscow-area operator was delivering its signals wirelessly over MMDS using frequencies in the 2.5-2.7GHz range--the same spectrum range used by LTE 4G wireless services. Radio spectrum regulator SCRF had warned Kosmos TV that it would have to shut down if its service interfered with LTE delivery, and, despite a protest on Kosmos' part, went on to re-assign the broadcaster's spectrum.
SCRF awarded some spectrum to telco Scartel for LTE last year, and now the balance will be split between VimpelCom, Megafon and Rostelecom for LTE services. Kosmos TV will be compensated by the companies for the use of the spectrum, but its TV operations have been ordered suspended.
Kosmos TV offers digital television packages in Basic and Elite flavours, along with several theme packages such as a premium sports offering. It said it would help subscribers migrate to a replacement service, run by MGTS, a Moscow-based regional operator.
Kosmos TV was launched as a joint venture between Metromedia International and RTRS in 1991, after the end of the Cold War and state-run media. Metromedia's stake was later acquired by AFK Sistema. Despite its first mover status, Kosmos TV claims only about 35,000 subscribers, or 1% of the pay-TV market.