Ukraine mobile operators oppose universal service fund plan

Ukrainian mobile operators Kyivstar, MTS Ukraine, Astelit and Beeline Ukraine are opposed to the proposed universal service fund, saying it’s inefficient and doesn’t correspond to the needs of consumers. The Ministry of Communications proposes a 3 percent tax on telecommunications services to support the fund, reports LigaBiznesInform. However, mobile operators say this will not meet the market’s needs. According to Oleg Prozhivalskiy, the CCO of MTS Ukraine, around USD 1 billion in investment is needed on the fixed network in rural areas and it would take ten years to collect this amount with the proposed tax. A representative for Astelit said it makes more sense for operators to propose local projects for funding, rather than follow the outdated model of a USF fund.

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