It employs existing base stations and the 2600 MHz frequency spectrum the company already utilises for its 4G mobile network. In the first phase, Telekom Slovenije has so far upgraded 150 base stations, providing approximately 25% coverage with the 4G/5G network. By the end of the year, it expects to surpass 33% coverage. The company will soon introduce mobile phones that support the 4G/5G network and the commercial terms and conditions for using it, after the first vendors complete all the required software updates.
Commenting on the development, Tomaz Seljak, president of the management board of Telekom Slovenije, said: “Telekom Slovenije has been moving forward through constant development. Every new generation of mobile networks is able to do more. The progress of technology brings the development of the society, economy and lifestyle to each and every one of us. 5G will usher in the development of new business models and innovative ICT solutions with high added value and bring about new technological breakthroughs (supported with artificial intelligence), advanced multimedia services, virtual and augmented reality, and continued development of solutions related to the internet of things and the digitalisation of the whole society. We make sure that every step of our evolutionary technological development is deliberate, responsible and reflects our consistent care for the environment we work and live in”.
Matjaz Bericic, management board member and CTO, added: “5G is not the destination, it is the road. We can hardly imagine living without the proper support of high capacity mobile services at every step. Same goes for communication through different apps, unlimited access to information, social networks or the option of remote learning or remote work. A lot of critical business communication is already carried over our advanced 4G network, which has clearly proven its merit when work and learning simultaneously became remote during the epidemic. The volume of traffic over the mobile network continues to grow, while transport capacities of existing mobile networks are limited. Mobile data traffic has been growing exponentially, with data transfer in our mobile network increasing more than 25-fold compared to 2013, when we launched the fourth generation of mobile networks. This and the need to ensure continued technological development of IoT were the main reasons we decided to take this next step in our development, the first step towards the introduction of 5G. We have been systematically preparing for this for a long time, and in this first step of implementing 5G we utilized the existing frequency spectrum as much as possible, even though the bandwidth is too limited for full-fledged 5G deployment; however, this new generation of technology is much more spectrally efficient, and can transfer more bits per second per Herz of bandwidth. This puts Slovenia on the map of advanced countries with 5G. As new technologies are increasingly complex, it is very important that our technical teams have the right know-how and skills, and we are exceptionally proud of them. Following the period of kilobit and megabit speeds, the upgrade from 4G to 5G will bring us into the gigabit decade. Since every future begins with the first step, we opted to start by completing an evolutionary upgrade of existing mobile technology, which is based on established safe and secure standards that we have mastered and been upgrading for a few decades. In the coming years we are planning at least two major phases of 5G development. Business and residential users have a safe and secure future in our network”.
Telekom Slovenije notes that it is the only Slovenian operator to collaborate on European projects focusing on 5G development.