Kyivstar, Ukraine’s largest mobile network operator by subscribers, is scheduled to launch commercial fixed broadband services for residential customers based on fibre-to-the-building (FTTB) technology this week. Kiev-based newspaper Delo reported on 11 March that the cellco would enter the high speed fixed market in two weeks. The GSM operator began building its FTTB network in Kiev and Odessa in August 2009, whilst earlier this month the company’s planned merger with Russia’s Vimpelcom received Ukrainian antimonopoly clearance, giving rise to the potential for integrating the direct fibre service with Vimpelcom’s wholly owned ‘Beeline’ FTTB services operating in several cities across Ukraine. According to local press Kyivstar has over 250,000 mobile internet laptop/PC subscribers; according to GlobalComms Database it launched a resold 3G mobile internet service in April 2008, via the W-CDMA/HSDPA 'Utel' network of state-owned Ukrtelecom, the country’s only UMTS licensee. Kyivstar does not offer mobile broadband-speed services over its own infrastructure as Ukraine has repeatedly delayed the issuing of UMTS licences to privately owned operators.