According to the “Spring Law”, Russian mobile operators are obliged to keep their subscribers' traffic for six months from July 2018. Operators have nothing against total wiretapping, but it will cost them too much. By law, operators must install a traffic recording system at their own expense. According to various estimates, we are talking about data centers and investments in trillions of rubles (according to the RSPP
, operators will have to spend 17.583 trillion rubles by January 1, 2019). Therefore, the primary task of operators is to minimize these costs and, perhaps, to delay the start of recording and storing subscriber traffic. Now they have the opportunity to achieve such a delay thanks to the state program "Digital Economy", they write
The state program “Digital Economy” for 2017–2024 was approved by the government at the end of July 2017. Now, working groups have been established for each of the areas, including with the participation of mobile operators. These working groups prepared proposals that today were sent to the Ministry of Communications and Mass Media on October 5.
The working groups propose the following. Since the program "Digital Economy" requires the deployment of fifth-generation communication networks (5G) and other innovations from mobile operators, the state should compensate the operators for these costs.
Operators offer the state to offset the costs as follows:
- delay the implementation of the "law of spring";
- reduce the income tax from 20% to 12.5% (in 2016, operators paid about 48.5 billion rubles of income tax);
- reduce deductions to the universal telecommunications services fund (they now deduct 1.2% of revenue);
- to simplify the issuance of permits for the construction of operator infrastructure and registration of land plots;
- other regulatory breaks.
It is not yet known how the Ministry of Communications and the Ministry of Finance will react to such proposals. But officials have previously expressed in the sense that operator losses must be compensated for in other ways.
The Deputy Minister of Communications, Alexei Kozyrev, said in the commentary to “Kommersant”
: “We understand that the deployment of communication networks by operators based on new technologies, including 5G, will require substantial investments, the sources and parameters of which are not yet determined.”