Anyone who still believes Central and Europe lags in the development of modern electronic communication services should look no further than Croatia and Latvia, two of the region’s smaller markets.
At the time of writing this column it has just been announced that United Group’s Telemach Hrvatska is building what it describes as the fastest fibre-optic network in Europe. Offering download speeds of up to 10 Giga, it is part of a HRK1.7 billion (€226.5 million) investment and will see Zagreb become the first 10 Giga city in the region. Indeed, thanks to existing infrastructure, Telemach Hrvatska can already support speeds of up 10 Giga in 12,000 households in Zagreb and by the end of next year the entire capital will be covered by the network. Come 2022, around 170,000 Croatian households will be able to receive a 10 Giga service.
Telemach Hrvatska is also upgrading its existing 4G mobile network and introducing 5G services, having acquired frequency spectrum for the latter for around HRK110 million. By doing so, it is replicating the activities of Vivacom in Bulgaria and Telemach Slovenia, both of which are also part of United Group.
Meanwhile in Latvia, the incumbent telco Tet, formerly known as Lattelecom, has announced the launch of a 10 Giga service in cooperation with the Saliena real estate project. The residents of the complex will be the first in the country to be able to use the service, which will then be extended to the western Riga suburb of Imanta this autumn.
Although Tet’s project is on a smaller scale than Telemach Hrvatska’s, both companies are playing a pioneering role in the introduction of 10 Giga services in Europe. As such, they can only be commended.
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