Ukraine Mobile Phones

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Posted by Dan on September 29, 2000 at 16:15:43:

In Reply to: What kind of cell phones used in Ukraine? posted by Casey on September 29, 2000 at 14:27:11:

Casey,

Ukraine uses the same technologies as nearly all of Europe (and Asia) - that is, GSM operating in the 900 and 1800 Mhz frequencies.

Here are a few links that will take you to mobile network providers in Ukraine:

http://www.kyivstar.net
http://www.goldentele.com
http://www.umc.com.ua

The mobile handsets (the phone itself) are expensive if purchased in Ukraine because the mobile operators do not subsidize the initial sale the way they do here in the US. As a consequence, there is a large 'grey market' for telephones that are brought in from other European countries that utilize the same frequencies, hence, can utilize the same handsets. The country is beginning to 'crack down' on these imports and you can see evidence of it in the local newspapers in Ukraine.

Unfortunately, while GSM technology has finally found it's way to North America, the frequencies that are assigned here are *different* than the rest of the world. Frequencies for GSM here in the US are almost exclusively 1900 Mhz - which renders the handsets incompatible with systems in Europe and Asia (and elsewhere) operating in the more universal 1800 Mhz band.

The long and the short of it is - you can contact some of the vendors that resell mobile telephone service in Ukraine and tell them you do not wish to pay more than $100 for a GSM handset. They will almost always be able to come up with a nearly-new handset that will function just fine - and will work in their network. IMO this is a far superior mechanism to buy a handset there - instead of buying one from another country - and then running the risk of being challenged when you bring it into Ukraine (it *is* necessary to declare any radio transmitting devices - and this would qualify).

So . . . simple answers to your questions are:

1 - Price discounts may be unavailable to you here because you would not be purchasing the 'service' which is why US-based operators offer subsidized equipment prices. And yes, VAT and other difficulties of bringing the device into Ukraine will need to be considered.

2 - You will almost certainly have difficulty finding compatible equipment here in the US. It *is* possible, but the market is not large, hence, the costs remain high.

I hope this helps.

- Dan

: My wife's cousin would like us to buy him a cell phone that can be installed in his car when we come to visit. He apparently believes it can be purchased here more cheaply. His specifications are coming 3rd hand, so I'm trying to find out more, but thought I'd ask some obvious questions here?

: 1. Is the price difference really significant? Wouldn't we have to pay duty anyway, neutralizing any price discount?

: 2. What type of protocol phone is used in Ukraine cell phone system? Would I even be able to find a phone supporting that protocol(s) here in the U.S.?

: Thanks,

: Casey




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