The introduction of 5G services is gathering momentum across Central and Eastern Europe.
Earlier this month O2 became the first operator in the Czech Republic to launch a commercial 5G service. Its new network will initially be available to 15% of Prague’s population from this summer.
Meanwhile in Poland, Plus launched the country’s first commercial 5G service in seven cities in May. By the end of this year it should be available to over three million people. It was followed in early June by T-Mobile Polska, whose 5G network will reach six million people by the end of this month.
In Hungary, the award of 5G licences by the regulator NMHH in March proved to be a controversial affair, with Digi arguing it should have been allowed to participate in the auction alongside Magyar Telekom, Telenor and Vodafone. All three were successful and the incumbent has since gone on to launch a commercial service in Zalaegerszeg and central Budapest.
Elsewhere, Orange Romania became the first within the group to launch a commercial 5G service. It made its debut in Cluj-Napoca, Iasi and the capital, Bucharest, in November last year.
Orange is also set to become an important player in Slovakia’s new 5G market, having acquired additional spectrum for services from the operators Swan and Slovanet.
Meanwhile in Russia, it still remains be seen when commercial 5G services will make their debuts despite tests already having been undertaken by, amongst others, Tele2 and MTS, employing technology supplied by Ericsson and Huawei respectively.
In the Adria region, Hrvatski Telekom (HT) is setting the pace for the introduction of 5G services in Croatia. Early this week it announced an agreement with Ericsson for the exclusive supply of the radio part for the telco’s mobile network until 2024.
Alongside all these developments, we have nevertheless seen also seen delays in the award of 5G frequencies by regulators in a number of countries including Poland, the Czech Republic and Croatia. These have mainly been due to the coronavirus pandemic, which hit the region in March.
For more information about Chris Dziadul, please visit https://www.chrisdziadul.com