Lithuania has ended direct talks with Russia without reaching a deal on radio frequency used by its military, which remains an obstacle to the country’s 5G development.
The Russian armed forces are using the 3.5 GHz frequency for its radars in Kaliningrad and the signal seeps into parts of Lithuanian territory. Vilnius has been calling on Russia to free up the frequency, which is needed to ensure effective coverage in more densely populated areas as Lithuania rolls out its 5G infrastructure.
Lithuania’s Communications Regulatory Authority (RRT) has reached a deal with Russia on removing TV television programmes from the 700 MHz band, but Russia refuses to free up the 3.5 GHz band.
“We aren’t negotiating with Russia. We’ve raised that issue at the highest possible level in the ITU [International Telecommunication Union] community,” RRT Deputy Director Mindaugas Žilinskas told the parliamentary Committee on Economics on Monday.
He added that Lithuania was planning to raise the frequency issue with the European Postal and Telecommunications Union (EPTU). RRT Director Feliksas Dobrovolskis told the parliamentary committee that he expected an auction of frequencies in the 700 MHz band to be announced shortly.
Before that, the Lithuanian Defence Ministry has yet to make decisions on cyber security and put the necessary legislation into place.
“We hope to announce that auction in the near future,” Dobrovolskis said. “This week, we expect a certain contribution from the Defence Ministry, and when there’s clarity, we’ll move on.”