Ukraine cus­tomers happy about fast new 3G ser­vice

Kyiv Post - - News / Business - BY BOZHENA SHEREMETA [email protected] Kyiv Post staff writer Bozhena Sheremeta can be reached at [email protected] The Kyiv Post’s IT cov­er­age is spon­sored by AVen­tures Cap­i­tal, Cik­lum, FISON and Soft­Serve.

Ukrainian sub­scribers to the coun­try’s three main mo­bile op­er­a­tors – Kyivs­tar, MTS and life:) – have taken ad­van­tage of speed­ier 3G cov­er­age in Kyiv and hun­dreds of other cities since May. All of Ukraine will have 3G cov­er­age by au­tumn 2016.

MTS said 180,000 sub­scribers have up­graded to the 3G data plan, but Kyivs­tar and life:) re­fused to sup­ply num­bers. But judg­ing from MTS fig­ure alone, Ukraini­ans seem to be will­ing to pay higher tar­iffs for the rapid mo­bile In­ter­net that lib­er­ates them from Wi-Fi de­pen­dency.

One Kyivs­tar cus­tomer said that “life got so much bet­ter with 3G in Kyiv.” The switch to 1.5 GB of In­ter­net 3G traf­fic costs him Hr 95.

Cus­tomers re­port be­ing able to use Google Chrome, Google Maps, Skype and other mo­bile ap­pli­ca­tions on smart­phones with­out hav­ing to wait 10 min­utes be­fore the data fully loads. 3G cov­er­age, how­ever, doesn’t ex­ist in the Kyiv metro yet.

Kyivs­tar has launched 3G cov­er­age in Kyiv, Lviv, Odesa and other cities with tar­iffs vary­ing from Hr 55 to Hr 150 for 0.5 GB to 2.5 GB of In­ter­net data. When a cus­tomer uses up the al­lot­ted gi­ga­bytes, he can still use the reg­u­lar mo­bile In­ter­net, but at a slower speed.

Dmitry Chap­lin­sky, a soft­ware devel­oper from Kyiv, uses 3G pro­vided by MTS and pays Hr 90 a month for 2 GB. He uses Skype and Viber out­doors, though he com­plains he can’t hear peo­ple on line very well. “The speed is not very fast, but it is al­ready progress com­pared to EDGE net­work,” he says, re­fer­ring to ear­lier cov­er­age ca­pa­bil­ity.

MTS Ukraine cur­rently has the largest 3G cov­er­age in Ukraine, sup­ply­ing over 900 cities. It of­fers two tar­iff plans that pro­vide 2.5 GB of 3G In­ter­net data traf­fic for Hr 70 or Hr 90 a month. For un­lim­ited data traf­fic, MTS of­fers the Ul­tra VIP 3G for Hr 949 a month.

Ro­man Dzigov­skiy, the head of public re­la­tions at the Lviv mo­bile game de­vel­op­ment com­pany Nravo, uses 3G pro­vided by life:). He uses a tar­iff plan that gives him 2 GB at Hr 95 a month. A 10-minute-long Skype call costs Dzigov­skiy about 50 MB of data traf­fic. But he plans to switch to a 4 GB plan. “This way it will be guar­an­teed that I have enough data traf­fic,” he says. But he would pre­fer to pay more for un­lim­ited data traf­fic.

Life:) so far only pro­vides 3G in Kyiv and Lviv with tar­iff plans rang­ing from Hr 55 to Hr 150 monthly.

Ac­cord­ing to Ser­hiy Hu­li­ayev, mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor for life:), the av­er­age monthly In­ter­net con­sump­tion by its sub­scribers is about 140 MB, which is why the op­er­a­tor of­fers tar­iff plans with more lim­ited vol­ume.

But life:) sub­scriber Kse­nia Mure wants more. “It seems to be enough, but will it be enough for the whole month?” she asks. “This is a ques­tion with­out an an­swer so far.”

Kyi­vans browse the In­ter­net on their smart­phones at a cen­trally lo­cated res­tau­rant in Kyiv on June 25. (Volodymyr Petrov)

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