‘There is a decrease, but it is not fatal’: Ministry of Finance announces base stations production in Tatarstan
Revenue of operators from the provision of communication services in the republic is going to amount to 20,14 billion rubles by the results of the first six months of 2023
The current situation in the Tatarstan communications industry can be assessed as “consistently satisfactory”. The sanctions have significantly affected the sphere, but it is still possible to cope with the consequences, Minister of Digital Development of Public Administration, Information Technology, and Communications of Tatarstan Ayrat Khayrullin said during the board meeting on the results of the work of the communications industry for the first half of 2023. Read the details in the material of Realnoe Vremya.
95,6% of Tatarstan citizens used the Internet in the republic in 2022
In Tatarstan, in the first half of 2023, the volume of mobile traffic consumption increased by 11%. At the same time, the consumption of wired Internet is also increasing (+20%). In these areas, Tatarstan ranks first among the regions of the Volga Federal District, said the head of the Ministry of Finance of Tatarstan, Ayrat Khayrullin.
“Communication plays an important role in the development of the economy, in the quality of life of the population of Tatarstan, and in the tasks of public administration. Therefore, the issues of the quality of mobile communications, mobile Internet, wired communications, wired Internet are in the focus of constant attention of the Ministry of Digital Development. The current situation can be described as consistently satisfactory," he said.
According to Deputy Minister Albert Yakovlev, 95,6% of Tatarstan citizens used the Internet in the republic in 2022. This is more than in the whole country, by 24%.
He added that the share of the rural population of Tatarstan over the age of 15 who used the Internet to order goods and services in 2022 was 40,9%. At the same time, in Russia this figure is 37,5%.
Urban residents are more actively ordering services and goods via the Internet. Last year, 71,8% of citizens took advantage of this opportunity. At the same time, in Russia this figure is only 54,3%.
As for 2023, in the first 6 months, the number of mobile high-speed Internet subscribers increased to 4,7 million. During this time, only 1,2 million residents of the republic used wired Internet.
In the first half of this year, the volume of mobile Internet traffic in Tatarstan amounted to 529,2 thousand terabytes, which exceeds the results of the first half of 2022 by 50 thousand. The volume of wired Internet traffic increased by 235 thousand terabytes, reaching 1,36 million.
According to the forecast of the regional Ministry of Finance, in Tatarstan, the income of operators from the provision of communication services in the first six months of 2023 will amount to 20,14 billion rubles. Most of them — 8,8 billion — will be for wired Internet, another 5,14 billion — for mobile communications, 1,39 billion — for postal communications, and 4,82 billion — for other communication services.
If the forecast is justified, the operators' revenue will exceed the results of the corresponding period of the previous year by almost a billion rubles. Over four years, this figure has increased by 2 billion rubles.
“We do not deny responsibility for the development of cellular, mobile, wired communications in the republic”
Answering a question from the journalist of Realnoe Vremya, Ayrat Khayrullin highlighted the decrease in the growth of base stations on the territory of the republic as one of the problems of the industry. Since the introduction of sanctions, the growth rate has decreased by 30%.
According to him, over 280 new base stations have been built in Tatarstan in 7 months of 2023 and about 700 stations have been upgraded.
“This is due to restrictions on the supply of equipment. Nevertheless, we see that there are positive changes in the industry, therefore, despite the current situation, we do not deny responsibility for the development of cellular, mobile, wired communications in the republic," he stressed.
The republican Ministry of Finance plans to start producing its own base stations, Khayrullin said:
“We have the prerequisites for this. Firstly, this is our scientific base in the face of those fundamental foundations that exist at the Aviation Institute. <...> We expect that our developments, our technologies will be accepted by Rostelecom State Corporation. Now joint work is underway, and, Alla Birsa, we are going to produce in Tatarstan.
At the same time, the start of production is to not begin until 2025. To do this, it is necessary to close the issues related to software. As for hardware, there should be no problems with it, the minister believes.
“Unfortunately, the entire network is built on foreign technologies. It is impossible just throw it all away at once. As for the new network, of course, it is necessary to build on existing equipment," the speaker said. “There will be a transitional period when two technologies will live together. In this part, I believe that there will be no rollback. We definitely need to be technologically independent in key industries.
“The situation is going to improve”
Despite the problems in terms of base stations, a programme to eliminate digital inequality is being successfully implemented in Tatarstan. In the first half of 2023, high-speed Internet was connected in 38 settlements and 52 thousand households. Such statistics were given by Deputy Minister of Digital Development, Public Administration, Information Technologies, and Communications of the republic Albert Yakovlev.
According to him, by the end of the year, the Internet is planned to be laid in 77 more settlements of Tatarstan. The volume of investments for these purposes will amount to 462 million rubles.
In total, 1,2 million subscribers using wired Internet are registered in the region.
Besides, Yakovlev said that over the past four years, complaints of Tatarstan residents about the quality of mobile communications have decreased fourfold. In 2020, the People's Control received 298 such appeals, and in 2023 — 78.
In turn, the minister of digital development assessed the situation in the field ambiguously:
“Difficulties arise somewhere, while we see that the assistance of the government of Russia gives us new opportunities. Yes, there are decreases, but this is not fatal, not catastrophic, the situation is going to improve.”