Keeping connected: connectivity resilience in Ukraine

  • Date: 13/02/23
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Around 16 million Ukrainians have been displaced since February 2022, with many now living in other countries. Thanks to efforts to maintain the country’s internet connectivity, Ukrainians still in the country have been able to get online and stay in contact with those abroad. Despite blackouts, missile attacks and significant damage done to Ukraine’s electricity and telecommunication infrastructure in the past year, there has been mobile, fixed and satellite connectivity in all Ukraine-controlled territories.

Connectivity also partially returned to those territories that were re-taken from Russian occupiers. Since April last year, mobile operators rebuilt around 1,400 destroyed base stations in 400 settlements. 

The following key activities supported this overall resilience for telecommunications in Ukraine:

  • National roaming was launched among the three mobile operators, without changing SIM cards or tariffs;
  • The EU Member States agreed to apply Ukrainian national tariffs instead of regular roaming tariffs to the mobile communications of 4 million Ukrainians currently residing in EU countries;
  • The Ukrainian government accelerated legal processes, adopting Law No. 2078-IX, which simplifies the allocation of land for base stations, both under martial law conditions and in post-war reconstruction. In addition, Law No. 7487 has cancelled redundant approvals for re-establishing communications after de-occupation of the Ukrainian territories. 

More details are available in a broadcast with Stanislav Prybytko, Director of the Department for the Development of Mobile Communications of the Ukrainian Ministry of Digital Transformation, or in a Telegram message via the ministry’s official channel. Overall telecommunications resilience in Ukraine has been maintained through the strong and continuing commitment of mobile operators Kyivstar, Vodafone and Lifecell, as well as the State Commission for Special Communications and the National Commission of Electronic Communications, with support from the European Commission and BEREC, the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications.