Good afternoon. Over the past fifteen years, cell phones have become an integral part of the lives of most people on our planet. Nowadays it is difficult to imagine life without a cell phone. Wherever we go, we always take our phone with us, from work to a simple walk in the park. Almost all Russians now have mobile phones, from children to pensioners.
In our country, four main cellular operators have been formed over two decades. These are the well-known Tele 2, MTS, Beeline, Megafon. These four leaders are firmly in place. Thanks to them, both Russians and residents of other countries receive not only convenient and high-quality (though not everywhere and not always :)) telephone communications, but also mobile Internet and various voice services.
Another operator had to be content with secondary places in this rating. These are Tinkoff Mobile, Let’s Talk (owned by Sberbank), Rostelecom, Yota and others. Most other cellular operators simply disappeared, unable to withstand the competition.
But the leadership of the Big Four may soon come to an end. Namely, this month Vladimir Putin, at a meeting with the leadership of Roscosmos, gave this organization certain tasks for the future. Putin ordered the creation of a new generation of Angara rockets, which will deliver into orbit the Gonets-M1 satellites, designed specifically for global cellular communications by Information Satellite Systems JSC.
The President and Roscosmos agreed on the following plan: – Starting from 2022 to 2028, 640 satellites must be launched into Earth orbit, the task of which is to connect mobile communications in Russia (and beyond) into one network and cover 100% of the earth’s surface. This project was called “Sphere”. According to the designers, it should oust the “Big Four” Russian operators from the market.
The cellular operator Sfera, of course, is a state project, as it belongs to Roscosmos. Namely, its subsidiary company “Messenger”. The task of the project is as follows: – It is necessary to solve 3 problems:
- To provide residents of the Russian Federation with high-speed mobile Internet that can perform any tasks specified by Internet connection consumers.
- “Sphere” should provide voice communication at a high level. In other words, Sphere’s goal is to enable people to easily make calls to any corner of the planet.
- Satellites must monitor the entire surface of our planet in real time. Most likely, this is necessary for military needs and meteorological purposes.
According to the developers, the cost of this connection should be low, otherwise there will be no need for this project (it simply will not be able to compete with the Big Four). In ten years, the project should begin to operate fully.
It is now unclear exactly how much mobile and Internet users will need to pay for the services provided. But, since we are talking about an enterprise in which the majority of shares belong to the state, the price should be low. Otherwise, there is no point in creating the “Sphere”. The government plans to spend 300–500 billion rubles on this project. We will find out a more exact figure later.
But, interestingly, other researchers believe that the price may be many times too high, because the Sfera operator simply will not have a competitor and the price can be raised as much as your heart desires.
Also, some people believe that the Sphere project is a utopia. Namely, the state, represented by Sberbank, has already tried to create the “Let’s Talk” mobile operator. He had to knock the top four off the pedestal and take a leading position in the field of mobile communications. But the population did not take it seriously and continues to use the services of the operators Tele 2, MTS, Beeline, Megafon.
Interestingly, Rostelecom owns 45% of Tele 2 shares. Rostelecom is a state-owned company (for the most part). It and Tele 2 have approximately the same prices for cellular communications and they have similar tariffs. But the population stubbornly continues to purchase Tele 2 SIM cards and refuses Rostelecom SIM cards.
From this we can conclude that people who claim that the Sphere project is a utopia have every reason to think so, because the state has already tried to take a leading position in the field of cellular communications, and it did not work out. Do you think the government will be able to implement the Sfera project as a cellular operator and what will this lead to? Please share your thoughts in the comments. Good luck!
Sincerely, Andrey Zimin 09/30/2022