Telekom Slovenije says it is the first Slovenian operator to take the next step in the development of mobile technology and launch the fifth generation mobile network (5G) nationally by using existing base stations and the 2600 MHz frequency spectrum it already utilizes for its fourth generation mobile network.
It says this “evolutionarily” upgrade to the 4G/5G network will allow users to achieve higher data transfer speeds than on the LTE/4G network already in this first phase, while the full potential of 5G technology will become available to users after additional frequency bands are awarded. In the first phase, Telekom Slovenije has so far upgraded 150 base stations, providing approximately 25 per cent coverage with the 4G/5G network.
By the end of 2020, the company expects to surpass 33 per cent coverage. Telekom Slovenije 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.
Telekom Slovenije plans to launch its fifth generation public mobile network in the form of ‘campus’ networks, where a single physical infrastructure can host several virtual dedicated networks for various business verticals, such as energy supply, transportation, logistics, manufacturing, smart cities, healthcare, protection and rescue (public safety), and similar.
“Telekom Slovenije has been moving forward through constant development,” declared Tomaž Seljak, the President of the Management Board of Telekom Slovenije. “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.”
The 5G gigabit network will already in the first phase support higher speeds than the existing LTE/4G network, and after additional frequency bands are awarded and the network further developed, available speeds will reach up to 10 Gbps, response times will decrease considerably, and new services will become available to users on increasingly advanced terminal equipment. Uplink speeds will also be significantly faster, which Telekom Slovenije says is increasingly important because of the development of video services.
Matjaž Beričič, Management Board member and CTO of Telekom Slovenije, noted that 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 the telco 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,” he explained.