Saturday, 28 November 2020

Hrvatski Telekom and Telenor Sweden both flip the 5G switch

by Harry Baldock, Total Telecom
Friday 30 October 20

First and last in their respective markets, Hrvatski Telekom and Telenor Sweden have joined the ranks of 5G providers

This week has marked two more 5G launches to add to the multitude of operators already providing commercial services in Europe.  In Croatia, Hrvatski Telekom has finally launched their commercial 5G network, making the countries first foray into the next-generation technology. Limited coverage will be available in the country’s capital Zagreb, as well as other major cities including Rijeka…

This week has marked two more 5G launches to add to the multitude of operators already providing commercial services in Europe. 

In Croatia, Hrvatski Telekom has finally launched their commercial 5G network, making the countries first foray into the next-generation technology. Limited coverage will be available in the country’s capital Zagreb, as well as other major cities including Rijeka, Split, Osijek, Samobor and Sveta Nedelja.
 
The launch was enabled in part through the use of dynamic spectrum sharing, allowing the operator to support 5G using existing 4G spectrum. The operator had been testing this technology since June.
 
Existing customers on selected plans will reportedly be able to access the 5G network for no extra charge until June 2021.
 
“The commercial start of the 5G network is a big milestone for Hrvatski Telekom, but also for the entire telecommunications industry in Croatia, because today we present the network of the future,” said CEO Kostas Nebis. “With the 5G network, we will enable a number of innovations that will allow for the development of the Croatian economy and society.”
 
The launch comes at a time of some uncertainty for Hrvatski Telekom, who today also announced that their revenue for the first nine months of this year was down 3.9% compared to the same period last year, with net revenue seeing a 17.5% decrease. The operator's new 5G network will, at least in the short term, do little to improve this situation, but Nebis said the company is committed to continuing its investment strategy. 
 
“Despite the challenging environment and outlook HT remains focused on continuing with its investment plan for 2020,” he said.
 
Telenor Sweden, on the other hand, who launched their 5G network in Stockholm just yesterday, is seeing no such uncertainty. The company reported adding 30,000 mobile customers in Q3 of this year, seeing revenues rise year-on-year, despite losses in roaming revenue.
 
When it comes to 5G itself, the operator is the last of Sweden’s four major carriers to launch the technology, with Telia and Tele2 having done so in May, with Tre Sweden following one month later in June. Telenor Sweden intends to expand the 5G network to Malmo and Gothenburg by next summer, and then to other cities with populations exceeding 50,000. They expect more than 99% of the Swedish population to be covered by their 5G network by 2023.
 
While Europe has seen a significant spate of 5G launches this year, still less than half of its 44 countries have access to the new technology, leading some to suggest that the continent is losing the 5G race to the likes of South Korea, China, and the USA.
 
 
Also in the news: 

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