by Maria Kiselyova

Jan 31 2008

powered by SphereMOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian fixed-line operator Comstar
UTS (CMSTq.L: Quote, Profile, Research) said on Thursday it had started
to build a mobile broadband network using WiMAX technology in Armenia.

"We intend to launch the network this year and, therefore, become the
first and the largest wireless broadband Internet operator in Armenia,"
Comstar's president, Sergei Pridantsev, said in a statement.

The company said it had chosen Airspan Networks Inc (AIRN.O: Quote,
Profile, Research) to provide equipment for the base stations. It
did not disclose the value of the deal.

Mobile WiMax is an emerging high-speed wireless standard which is
expected to support access to large amounts of data, such as movies
and multi-media content.

The company expects to launch commercial service in the second half of
this year. The network will cover 75 percent of Armenia's population,
a Comstar spokeswoman said.

She declined to say how much Comstar would invest in the network
deployment. Last year Comstar announced plans to invest "10s of
millions of dollars" to build a WiMAX network in Moscow.

Comstar, part of Russian services conglomerate Sistema (SSAq.L:
Quote, Profile, Research), provides voice, data, Internet, pay-TV
and other services.