Skylink LTE 450 MHz now in Moscow

As promised, the "updated" Skylink in the LTE 450 MHz (band 31) standard was launched in the Moscow region in July. A pleasant surprise: not at the end of the month, but on the first of July. As a bonus for future and existing customers, a 20% discount on a stationary router.

We launched without fanfare, high-profile events and feeding sandwiches to journalists. But everything is according to plan and even ahead of schedule. In the review of the Skylink mobile router, I already wrote about a randomly noticed signal in the LTE 450 band, apparently, this was it. It is possible that the launch of LTE 450 was also associated with the periodic shutdowns of segments of the LTE 800 Tele2 network observed at the end of June.

Skylink LTE 450 MHz now in Moscow

As for administrative issues and logistics, everything was prepared here. I specifically ran into the Tele2 salon and asked about the possibility of connecting: “Yes, yes, yes, we connect to Skylink, there are sim cards and routers. And how did you find out about this?!” Indeed, I have not yet come across preliminary advertising, and was there any in Moscow? I won’t be surprised if there wasn’t any at all, the “long-range” LTE 450 is of interest primarily to residents of the Moscow region.

Let me remind you that after the merger of Tele2 and the assets of Rostelecom, the Sky Link brand, the frequencies licensed by it and Skylink subscribers legally began to relate to Tele2, by that time there were a little more than 200 thousand subscribers. The outflow was associated primarily with the expansion of coverage areas of 3G networks of other operators. Then Toyota Allion in Tele2 started a campaign to transfer active Skylink subscribers to Tele2, in anticipation of the launch of LTE 450 on Skylink frequencies networks CDMA 450 it was desirable to unload as much as possible. Skylink's frequency resource is already limited to a band of only 4.4 MHz, of which 3 MHz is taken under LTE. The remaining Skylink CDMA subscribers will be able to continue using their phones until October 2016. Modems too, although there is no particular point in this, EVDO was turned off in the CDMA network, and the speed, according to reviews, is no higher than 128 Kbps.

Existing Skylink subscribers of the CDMA 450 network are promised certain benefits when switching to LTE. You will still have to buy new equipment at your own expense, but during the year they promised to retain the right to use the old tariff plan. If I understand correctly the logic of transferring CDMA subscribers to the new Skylink, by October VoLTE (voice communication in LTE) will definitely be allowed and will work, and those who need telephone communication in areas not covered by other operators will be able to continue using Skylink now already in the LTE 450 standard.

Skylink LTE 450 MHz now in Moscow

I already wrote about the 3 MHz frequency band used under LTE 450, which is not enough to achieve high speeds and serve a large number of subscribers. In total, Skylink has 4.4 MHz, but a piece was left for the operation of the CDMA 450 network. Under LTE, you can give 3, 5, 10. MHz, but so far there is not even 5 MHz. Maybe in the future it will be possible to win something back from the security forces in exchange for transferring them to a more modern standard and new equipment.

As long as the real speeds in the LTE 450 network do not exceed 17 Mbps in each sector of the base station, you are unlikely to see more than 15 Mbps. Moreover, this is on an empty network, with the advent of users and an increase in the load, the speeds will fall. A 5 MHz band would increase network capacity and speed up to 30 Mbps, but it's too early to talk about it.

Covering

The main, if not the only, advantage of the Skylink network is the long range of base stations in the low frequency range of 450 MHz. The effective coverage radius is about 2 km, which is five times the range of LTE 2600. Also, the low-frequency signal penetrates well into enclosed spaces and basements.

Skylink LTE 450 MHz now in Moscow

Due to the large range of base stations, the coverage of the Moscow region reaches 90% of the territory, which is much more than the coverage of 3G / 4G networks. I repeat: the capacity of the LTE 450 network is very small, and the network will not be able to serve many subscribers at the same time. The equipment is configured in such a way that when a higher-range LTE network is available, the router will connect to the Tele2 network of a larger capacity (LTE 2600 or 800 MHz), the router will connect to the LTE 450 MHz network only if there are no other alternatives. That is, LTE 450 will work only for those Skylink subscribers who really need it.

Skylink LTE 450 MHz now in Moscow

Above is the coverage map of the Moscow region, which we were shown a month ago. If you carefully compare with today's map, we will now see a painted "bald spot" in the east of the region, construction continues.

Equipment

Skylink LTE 450 MHz now in Moscow

Skylink routers support all Russian LTE bands (LTE FDD 450/800/1800/2600 MHz). Otherwise, nothing remarkable, you can read more in our review here, technical specifications on the Skylink website in the "Equipment" section. The routers are very simple, they do not shine with functionality and technical capabilities, they do not work in 2G / 3G networks (the relatively cheap Altair processor supports only LTE). But for those who need Skylink with its wide coverage, there is simply no choice: two almost identical stationary models and one mobile router, that's all. For the same reason, I don’t see much point in writing a review of a stationary router, a review of its mobile counterpart can be read here.

Tariff and prices

For those who have not read our previous material, let me remind you: the Skylink LTE 450 network now has one tariff, the one and only. Initially, they offered 4 GB of traffic for 990 rubles. per month, then they realized that the price was still quite unkind, and now they give for these 990 rubles. already 8 GB, i.e. twice as much. Still expensive? I can only quote (with correction of numbers) what I wrote earlier, taking into account the new price, I consider my then opinion relevant, I repeat:

“In my opinion, the price is more than democratic for those who have no choice, and the tariff should work as a “cut-off” for those who have a choice. There is some consumer conflict: Skylink works where 4G networks of other operators operate, while continuing to work where there is neither 4G nor 3G for others. It is logical for us to want a universal solution that works everywhere, but the Skylink frequency band is not rubber. The price barrier is conceived as a barrier that will leave only those who really have nowhere else to go in Skylink. As some consolation for those who hoped for a price miracle, we can remind you that the coverage of 3G networks for all operators is gradually growing, and more and more users begin to have a choice.

As for the tariff in Skylink, here the figure is 0.12 rubles. per megabyte over the package was not born by chance. If you divide the monthly abonentku 990 rubles. for 8 GB (8 192 MB), then we will just get those same 12 kopecks. for 1 MB of traffic. That is, in fact, we have a fixed price of 0.12 rubles / MB with a mandatory payment of 4 GB monthly. Traffic not used during the month is not transferred to the next month. The subscriber is written off on the 1st day of each month, and if you did not use the Internet for the whole month, then you will not be charged a monthly fee for this month. There is nothing more to discuss in this tariff.

As for the prices for equipment, Tele2 also “played back” for Skylink subscribers here after a clear inflection of the price stick: the retail price of the stationary H1 router (model without a backup battery) was announced at 6,990 rubles. until the end of July. It's still very expensive, but the exclusivity of 450 MHz LTE coverage decides. Personally, I would advise geographically "very remote" Skylink customers to buy a router at a discount and a tariff (for now), but it's a master's business. And this is not advertising, no. A statement of the harsh everyday life of the Russian Federation, where we still have to wait and wait for full coverage with relatively fast mobile Internet.

Summary

After adjusting the prices for the router and doubling the Internet package, Skylink has become more interesting to connect to. But more interesting for those who really need LTE 450 in remote areas. Also, in my opinion, a niche has formed for those who wander around Mother Russia, including those places where the “big four” with their 3G / 4G will not appear soon. Such users rarely indulge in online video, and they definitely don’t need torrents. For these clients, an 8 GB package should be enough, and if suddenly, then 12 kopecks. for each MB in excess of the package they will not ruin, satellite Internet is more expensive. Skylink is a niche solution, but in our country this niche is much larger in area than France or Iceland, which is now popular. Let it be, and God bless him.

Skylink LTE 450 MHz now in Moscow

As promised, the "updated" Skylink in the LTE 450 MHz (band 31) standard was launched in the Moscow region in July. A pleasant surprise: not at the end of the month, but on the first of July. As a bonus for future and existing customers, a 20% discount on a stationary router.

We launched without fanfare, high-profile events and feeding sandwiches to journalists. But everything is according to plan and even ahead of schedule. In the review of the Skylink mobile router, I already wrote about a randomly noticed signal in the LTE 450 band, apparently, this was it. It is possible that the launch of LTE 450 was also associated with the periodic shutdowns of segments of the LTE 800 Tele2 network observed at the end of June.

Skylink LTE 450 MHz now in Moscow

As for administrative issues and logistics, everything was prepared here. I specifically ran into the Tele2 salon and asked about the possibility of connecting: “Yes, yes, yes, we connect to Skylink, there are sim cards and routers. And how did you find out about this?!” Indeed, I have not yet come across preliminary advertising, and was there any in Moscow? I won’t be surprised if there wasn’t any at all, the “long-range” LTE 450 is of interest primarily to residents of the Moscow region.

Let me remind you that after the merger of Tele2 and the assets of Rostelecom, the Sky Link brand, the frequencies licensed by it and Skylink subscribers legally began to relate to Tele2, by that time there were a little more than 200 thousand subscribers. The outflow was associated primarily with the expansion of coverage areas of 3G networks of other operators. Then Toyota Allion in Tele2 started a campaign to transfer active Skylink subscribers to Tele2, in anticipation of the launch of LTE 450 on Skylink frequencies networks CDMA 450 it was desirable to unload as much as possible. The frequency resource of Skylink is already limited to a band of only 4.4 MHz, of which 3 MHz is taken under LTE. The remaining Skylink CDMA subscribers will be able to continue using their phones until October 2016. Modems too, although there is no particular point in this, EVDO was turned off in the CDMA network, and the speed, according to reviews, is no higher than 128 Kbps.

Existing Skylink subscribers of the CDMA 450 network are promised certain benefits when switching to LTE. You will still have to buy new equipment at your own expense, but during the year they promised to retain the right to use the old tariff plan. If I understand correctly the logic of transferring CDMA subscribers to the new Skylink, by October VoLTE (voice communication in LTE) will definitely be allowed and will work, and those who need telephone communication in areas not covered by other operators will be able to continue using Skylink now already in the LTE 450 standard.

Skylink LTE 450 MHz now in Moscow

I already wrote about the 3 MHz frequency band used under LTE 450, which is not enough to achieve high speeds and serve a large number of subscribers. In total, Skylink has 4.4 MHz, but a piece was left for the operation of the CDMA 450 network. Under LTE, you can give 3, 5, 10. MHz, but so far there is not even 5 MHz. Maybe in the future it will be possible to win something back from the security forces in exchange for transferring them to a more modern standard and new equipment.

As long as the real speeds in the LTE 450 network do not exceed 17 Mbps in each sector of the base station, you are unlikely to see more than 15 Mbps. Moreover, this is on an empty network, with the advent of users and an increase in the load, the speeds will fall. A 5 MHz band would increase network capacity and speed up to 30 Mbps, but it's too early to talk about it.

Covering

The main, if not the only, advantage of the Skylink network is the long range of base stations in the low frequency range of 450 MHz. The effective coverage radius is about 2 km, which is five times the range of LTE 2600. Also, the low-frequency signal penetrates well into enclosed spaces and basements.

Skylink LTE 450 MHz now in Moscow

Due to the large range of base stations, the coverage of the Moscow Region reaches 90% of the territory, which is much more than the coverage of 3G / 4G networks. I repeat: the capacity of the LTE 450 network is very small, and the network will not be able to serve many subscribers at the same time. The equipment is configured in such a way that when a higher-range LTE network is available, the router will connect to the Tele2 network of a larger capacity (LTE 2600 or 800 MHz), the router will connect to the 450 MHz LTE network only if there are no other alternatives. That is, LTE 450 will work only for those Skylink subscribers who really need it.

Skylink LTE 450 MHz now in Moscow

Above is the coverage map of the Moscow region, which we were shown a month ago. If you carefully compare with today's map, we will now see a painted over "bald spot" in the east of the region, construction continues.

Equipment

Skylink LTE 450 MHz now in Moscow

Skylink routers support all Russian LTE bands (LTE FDD 450/800/1800/2600 MHz). Otherwise, nothing remarkable, you can read more in our review here, technical specifications on the Skylink website in the "Equipment" section. The routers are very simple, they do not shine with functionality and technical capabilities, they do not work in 2G / 3G networks (the relatively cheap Altair processor supports only LTE). But for those who need Skylink with its wide coverage, there is simply no choice: two almost identical stationary models and one mobile router, that's all. For the same reason, I don’t see much point in writing a review of a stationary router, a review of its mobile counterpart can be read here.

Tariff and prices

For those who have not read our previous material, let me remind you: the Skylink LTE 450 network now has one tariff, the one and only. Initially, they offered 4 GB of traffic for 990 rubles. per month, then they realized that the price was still quite unkind, and now they give for these 990 rubles. already 8 GB, i.e. twice as much. Still expensive? I can only quote (with correction of numbers) what I wrote earlier, taking into account the new price, I consider my then opinion relevant, I repeat:

“In my opinion, the price is more than democratic for those who have no choice, and the tariff should work as a “cut-off” for those who have a choice. There is some consumer conflict: Skylink works where 4G networks of other operators operate, while continuing to work where there is neither 4G nor 3G for others. It is logical for us to want a universal solution that works everywhere, but the Skylink frequency band is not rubber. The price barrier is conceived as a barrier that will leave only those who really have nowhere else to go in Skylink. As some consolation for those who hoped for a price miracle, we can remind you that the coverage of 3G networks for all operators is gradually growing, and more and more users begin to have a choice.

As for the tariff in Skylink, here the figure is 0.12 rubles. per megabyte over the package was not born by chance. If you divide the monthly abonentku 990 rubles. for 8 GB (8 192 MB), then we will just get those same 12 kopecks. for 1 MB of traffic. That is, in fact, we have a fixed price of 0.12 rubles / MB with a mandatory payment of 4 GB monthly. Traffic not used during the month is not transferred to the next month. The subscriber is written off on the 1st day of each month, and if you did not use the Internet for the whole month, then you will not be charged a monthly fee for this month. There is nothing more to discuss in this tariff.

As for the prices for equipment, Tele2 also “played back” for Skylink subscribers here after a clear inflection of the price stick: the retail price of the stationary H1 router (model without a backup battery) was announced at 6,990 rubles. until the end of July. It's still very expensive, but the exclusivity of 450 MHz LTE coverage decides. Personally, I would advise geographically "very remote" Skylink customers to buy a router at a discount and a tariff (for now), but it's a master's business. And this is not advertising, no. A statement of the harsh everyday life of the Russian Federation, where we still have to wait and wait for full coverage with relatively fast mobile Internet.

Summary

After adjusting the prices for the router and doubling the Internet package, Skylink has become more interesting to connect to. But more interesting for those who really need LTE 450 in remote areas. Also, in my opinion, a niche has formed for those who wander around Mother Russia, including those places where the “big four” with their 3G / 4G will not appear soon. Such users rarely indulge in online video, and they definitely don’t need torrents. For these clients, an 8 GB package should be enough, and if suddenly, then 12 kopecks. for each MB in excess of the package they will not ruin, satellite Internet is more expensive. Skylink is a niche solution, but in our country this niche is much larger in area than France or Iceland, which is now popular. Let it be, and God bless him.

Skylink LTE 450 MHz now in Moscow

As promised, the "updated" Skylink in the LTE 450 MHz (band 31) standard was launched in the Moscow region in July. A pleasant surprise: not at the end of the month, but on the first of July. As a bonus for future and existing customers, a 20% discount on a stationary router.

We launched without fanfare, high-profile events and feeding sandwiches to journalists. But everything is according to plan and even ahead of schedule. In the review of the Skylink mobile router, I already wrote about a randomly noticed signal in the LTE 450 band, apparently, this was it. It is possible that the launch of LTE 450 was also associated with the periodic shutdowns of segments of the LTE 800 Tele2 network observed at the end of June.

Skylink LTE 450 MHz now in Moscow

As for administrative issues and logistics, everything was prepared here. I specifically ran into the Tele2 salon and asked about the possibility of connecting: “Yes, yes, yes, we connect to Skylink, there are sim cards and routers. And how did you find out about this?!” Indeed, I have not yet come across preliminary advertising, and was there any in Moscow? I won’t be surprised if there wasn’t any at all, the “long-range” LTE 450 is of interest primarily to residents of the Moscow region.

Let me remind you that after the merger of Tele2 and the assets of Rostelecom, the Sky Link brand, the frequencies licensed by it and Skylink subscribers legally began to relate to Tele2, by that time there were a little more than 200 thousand subscribers. The outflow was associated primarily with the expansion of coverage areas of 3G networks of other operators. Then Toyota Allion in Tele2 started a campaign to transfer active Skylink subscribers to Tele2, in anticipation of the launch of LTE 450 on Skylink frequencies networks CDMA 450 it was desirable to unload as much as possible. Skylink's frequency resource is already limited to a band of only 4.4 MHz, of which 3 MHz is taken under LTE. The remaining Skylink CDMA subscribers will be able to continue using their phones until October 2016. Modems too, although there is no particular point in this, EVDO was turned off in the CDMA network, and the speed, according to reviews, is no higher than 128 Kbps.

Existing Skylink subscribers of the CDMA 450 network are promised certain benefits when switching to LTE. You will still have to buy new equipment at your own expense, but during the year they promised to retain the right to use the old tariff plan. If I understand correctly the logic of transferring CDMA subscribers to the new Skylink, by October VoLTE (voice communication in LTE) will definitely be allowed and will work, and those who need telephone communication in areas not covered by other operators will be able to continue using Skylink now already in the LTE 450 standard.

Skylink LTE 450 MHz now in Moscow

I already wrote about the 3 MHz frequency band used under LTE 450, which is not enough to achieve high speeds and serve a large number of subscribers. In total, Skylink has 4.4 MHz, but a piece was left for the operation of the CDMA 450 network. Under LTE, you can give 3, 5, 10. MHz, but so far there is not even 5 MHz. Maybe in the future it will be possible to win something back from the security forces in exchange for transferring them to a more modern standard and new equipment.

As long as the real speeds in the LTE 450 network do not exceed 17 Mbps in each sector of the base station, you are unlikely to see more than 15 Mbps. Moreover, this is on an empty network, with the advent of users and an increase in the load, the speeds will fall. A 5 MHz band would increase network capacity and speed up to 30 Mbps, but it's too early to talk about it.

Covering

The main, if not the only, advantage of the Skylink network is the long range of base stations in the low frequency range of 450 MHz. The effective coverage radius is about 2 km, which is five times the range of LTE 2600. Also, the low-frequency signal penetrates well into enclosed spaces and basements.

Skylink LTE 450 MHz now in Moscow

Due to the large range of base stations, the coverage of the Moscow Region reaches 90% of the territory, which is much more than the coverage of 3G / 4G networks. I repeat: the capacity of the LTE 450 network is very small, and the network will not be able to serve many subscribers at the same time. The equipment is configured in such a way that when a higher-range LTE network is available, the router will connect to the Tele2 network of a larger capacity (LTE 2600 or 800 MHz), the router will connect to the 450 MHz LTE network only if there are no other alternatives. That is, LTE 450 will work only for those Skylink subscribers who really need it.

Skylink LTE 450 MHz now in Moscow

Above is the coverage map of the Moscow region, which we were shown a month ago. If you carefully compare with today's map, we will now see a painted over "bald spot" in the east of the region, construction continues.

Equipment

Skylink LTE 450 MHz now in Moscow

Skylink routers support all Russian LTE bands (LTE FDD 450/800/1800/2600 MHz). Otherwise, nothing remarkable, you can read more in our review here, technical specifications on the Skylink website in the "Equipment" section. The routers are very simple, they do not shine with functionality and technical capabilities, they do not work in 2G / 3G networks (the relatively cheap Altair processor supports only LTE). But for those who need Skylink with its wide coverage, there is simply no choice: two almost identical stationary models and one mobile router, that's all. For the same reason, I don’t see much point in writing a review of a stationary router, a review of its mobile counterpart can be read here.

Tariff and prices

For those who have not read our previous material, let me remind you: the Skylink LTE 450 network now has one tariff, the one and only. Initially, they offered 4 GB of traffic for 990 rubles. per month, then they realized that the price was still quite unkind, and now they give for these 990 rubles. already 8 GB, i.e. twice as much. Still expensive? I can only quote (with correction of numbers) what I wrote earlier, taking into account the new price, I consider my then opinion relevant, I repeat:

“In my opinion, the price is more than democratic for those who have no choice, and the tariff should work as a “cut-off” for those who have a choice. There is some consumer conflict: Skylink works where 4G networks of other operators operate, while continuing to work where there is neither 4G nor 3G for others. It is logical for us to want a universal solution that works everywhere, but the Skylink frequency band is not rubber. The price barrier is conceived as a barrier that will leave only those who really have nowhere else to go in Skylink. As some consolation for those who hoped for a price miracle, we can remind you that the coverage of 3G networks for all operators is gradually growing, and more and more users begin to have a choice.

As for the tariff in Skylink, here the figure is 0.12 rubles. per megabyte over the package was not born by chance. If you divide the monthly abonentku 990 rubles. for 8 GB (8 192 MB), then we will just get those same 12 kopecks. for 1 MB of traffic. That is, in fact, we have a fixed price of 0.12 rubles / MB with a mandatory payment of 4 GB monthly. Traffic not used during the month is not transferred to the next month. The subscriber is written off on the 1st day of each month, and if you did not use the Internet for the whole month, then you will not be charged a monthly fee for this month. There is nothing more to discuss in this tariff.

As for the prices for equipment, Tele2 also “played back” for Skylink subscribers here after a clear inflection of the price stick: the retail price of the stationary H1 router (model without a backup battery) was announced at 6,990 rubles. until the end of July. It's still very expensive, but the exclusivity of 450 MHz LTE coverage decides. Personally, I would advise geographically "very remote" Skylink customers to buy a router at a discount and a tariff (for now), but it's a master's business. And this is not advertising, no. A statement of the harsh everyday life of the Russian Federation, where we still have to wait and wait for full coverage with relatively fast mobile Internet.

Summary

After adjusting the prices for the router and doubling the Internet package, Skylink has become more interesting to connect to. But more interesting for those who really need LTE 450 in remote areas. Also, in my opinion, a niche has formed for those who wander around Mother Russia, including those places where the “big four” with their 3G / 4G will not appear soon. Such users rarely indulge in online video, and they definitely don’t need torrents. For these clients, an 8 GB package should be enough, and if suddenly, then 12 kopecks. for each MB in excess of the package they will not ruin, satellite Internet is more expensive. Skylink is a niche solution, but in our country this niche is much larger in area than France or Iceland, which is now popular. Let it be, and God bless him.

Skylink LTE 450 MHz now in Moscow

As promised, the "updated" Skylink in the LTE 450 MHz (band 31) standard was launched in the Moscow region in July. A pleasant surprise: not at the end of the month, but on the first of July. As a bonus for future and existing customers, a 20% discount on a stationary router.

We launched without fanfare, high-profile events and feeding sandwiches to journalists. But everything is according to plan and even ahead of schedule. In the review of the Skylink mobile router, I already wrote about a randomly noticed signal in the LTE 450 band, apparently, this was it. It is possible that the launch of LTE 450 was also associated with the periodic shutdowns of segments of the LTE 800 Tele2 network observed at the end of June.

As for administrative issues and logistics, everything was prepared here. I specifically ran into the Tele2 salon and asked about the possibility of connecting: “Yes, yes, yes, we connect to Skylink, there are sim cards and routers. And how did you find out about this?!” Indeed, I have not yet come across preliminary advertising, and was there any in Moscow? I won’t be surprised if there wasn’t any at all, the “long-range” LTE 450 is of interest primarily to residents of the Moscow region.

Let me remind you that after the merger of Tele2 and the assets of Rostelecom, the Sky Link brand, the frequencies licensed by it and Skylink subscribers legally began to relate to Tele2, by that time there were a little more than 200 thousand subscribers. The outflow was associated primarily with the expansion of coverage areas of 3G networks of other operators. Then Toyota Allion in Tele2 began a campaign to transfer active Skylink subscribers to Tele2, in anticipation of the launch of LTE 450 at Skylink frequencies, it was desirable to unload CDMA 450 networks as much as possible. Skylink's frequency resource is already limited to a band of only 4.4 MHz, of which 3 MHz is taken under LTE. The remaining Skylink CDMA subscribers will be able to continue using their phones until October 2016. Modems too, although there is no particular point in this, EVDO was turned off in the CDMA network, and the speed, according to reviews, is no higher than 128 Kbps.

Let me remind you that after the merger of Tele2 and the assets of Rostelecom, the Sky Link brand, the frequencies licensed by it and Skylink subscribers legally began to relate to Tele2, by that time there were a little more than 200 thousand subscribers. The outflow was associated primarily with the expansion of coverage areas of 3G networks of other operators. Then and Toyota Allion Toyota Allion Tele2 began a campaign to transfer active Skylink subscribers to Tele2, on the eve of the launch of LTE 450 at Skylink frequencies, it was desirable to unload CDMA 450 networks as much as possible. Skylink's frequency resource is already limited to a band of only 4.4 MHz, of which 3 MHz is taken under LTE. The remaining Skylink CDMA subscribers will be able to continue using their phones until October 2016. Modems too, although there is no particular point in this, EVDO was turned off in the CDMA network, and the speed, according to reviews, is no higher than 128 Kbps.

Existing Skylink subscribers of the CDMA 450 network are promised certain benefits when switching to LTE. You will still have to buy new equipment at your own expense, but during the year they promised to retain the right to use the old tariff plan. If I understand correctly the logic of transferring CDMA subscribers to the new Skylink, by October VoLTE (voice communication in LTE) will definitely be allowed and will work, and those who need telephone communication in areas not covered by other operators will be able to continue using Skylink now already in the LTE 450 standard.

I already wrote about the 3 MHz frequency band used under LTE 450, which is not enough to achieve high speeds and serve a large number of subscribers. In total, Skylink has 4.4 MHz, but a piece was left for the operation of the CDMA 450 network. Under LTE, you can give 3, 5, 10. MHz, but so far there is not even 5 MHz. Maybe in the future it will be possible to win something back from the security forces in exchange for transferring them to a more modern standard and new equipment.

As long as the real speeds in the LTE 450 network do not exceed 17 Mbps in each sector of the base station, you are unlikely to see more than 15 Mbps. Moreover, this is on an empty network, with the advent of users and an increase in the load, the speeds will fall. A 5 MHz band would increase network capacity and speed up to 30 Mbps, but it's too early to talk about it.

Covering

The main, if not the only, advantage of the Skylink network is the long range of base stations in the low frequency range of 450 MHz. The effective coverage radius is about 2 km, which is five times the range of LTE 2600. Also, the low-frequency signal penetrates well into enclosed spaces and basements.

Due to the large range of base stations, the coverage of the Moscow region reaches 90% of the territory, which is much more than the coverage of 3G / 4G networks. I repeat: the capacity of the LTE 450 network is very small, and the network will not be able to serve many subscribers at the same time. The equipment is configured in such a way that when a higher-range LTE network is available, the router will connect to the Tele2 network of a larger capacity (LTE 2600 or 800 MHz), the router will connect to the LTE 450 MHz network only if there are no other alternatives. That is, LTE 450 will work only for those Skylink subscribers who really need it.

Above is the coverage map of the Moscow region, which we were shown a month ago. If you carefully compare with today's map, we will now see a painted "bald spot" in the east of the region, construction continues.

Equipment

Skylink routers support all Russian LTE bands (LTE FDD 450/800/1800/2600 MHz). Otherwise, nothing remarkable, you can read more in our review here, technical specifications on the Skylink website in the "Equipment" section. The routers are very simple, they do not shine with functionality and technical capabilities, they do not work in 2G / 3G networks (the relatively cheap Altair processor supports only LTE). But for those who need Skylink with its wide coverage, there is simply no choice: two almost identical stationary models and one mobile router, that's all. For the same reason, I don’t see much point in writing a review of a stationary router, a review of its mobile counterpart can be read here.

Tariff and prices

For those who have not read our previous material, let me remind you: the Skylink LTE 450 network now has one tariff, the one and only. Initially, they offered 4 GB of traffic for 990 rubles. per month, then they realized that the price was still quite unkind, and now they give for these 990 rubles. already 8 GB, i.e. twice as much. Still expensive? I can only quote (with correction of numbers) what I wrote earlier, taking into account the new price, I consider my then opinion relevant, I repeat:

“In my opinion, the price is more than democratic for those who have no choice, and the tariff should work as a “cut-off” for those who have a choice. There is some consumer conflict: Skylink works where 4G networks of other operators operate, while continuing to work where there is neither 4G nor 3G for others. It is logical for us to want a universal solution that works everywhere, but the Skylink frequency band is not rubber. The price barrier is conceived as a barrier that will leave only those who really have nowhere else to go in Skylink. As some consolation for those who hoped for a price miracle, we can remind you that the coverage of 3G networks for all operators is gradually growing, and more and more users begin to have a choice.

As for the tariff in Skylink, here the figure is 0.12 rubles. per megabyte over the package was not born by chance. If you divide the monthly abonentku 990 rubles. for 8 GB (8 192 MB), then we will just get those same 12 kopecks. for 1 MB of traffic. That is, in fact, we have a fixed price of 0.12 rubles / MB with a mandatory payment of 4 GB monthly. Traffic not used during the month is not transferred to the next month. The subscriber is written off on the 1st day of each month, and if you did not use the Internet for the whole month, then you will not be charged a monthly fee for this month. There is nothing more to discuss in this tariff.

As for the prices for equipment, Tele2 also “played back” for Skylink subscribers here after a clear inflection of the price stick: the retail price of the stationary H1 router (model without a backup battery) was announced at 6,990 rubles. until the end of July. It's still very expensive, but the exclusivity of 450 MHz LTE coverage decides. Personally, I would advise geographically "very remote" Skylink customers to buy a router at a discount and a tariff (for now), but it's a master's business. And this is not advertising, no. A statement of the harsh everyday life of the Russian Federation, where we still have to wait and wait for full coverage with relatively fast mobile Internet.

Summary

After adjusting the prices for the router and doubling the Internet package, Skylink has become more interesting to connect to. But more interesting for those who really need LTE 450 in remote areas. Also, in my opinion, a niche has formed for those who wander around Mother Russia, including those places where the “big four” with their 3G / 4G will not appear soon. Such users rarely indulge in online video, and they definitely don’t need torrents. For these clients, an 8 GB package should be enough, and if suddenly, then 12 kopecks. for each MB in excess of the package they will not ruin, satellite Internet is more expensive. Skylink is a niche solution, but in our country this niche is much larger in area than France or Iceland, which is now popular. Let it be, and God bless him.