Mobitel bringing LTE to Slovenia

Eastern Europe is to gain another LTE player with the news that Mobitel, a Slovenian mobile network operator, has deployed a test network based on the next generation mobile technology.

Mobitel said that it was able launch an LTE network for internal testing just a few days after receiving additional test frequencies. It said that it was able to achieve speeds of 100Mbps, with latencies that were half that of its HSPA+ network. It characterized these initial test results as “excellent” and promised users a “state-of-the-art” experience.  Once fully deployed the  network will operate at a trio of frequencies, taking in 800Mhz, 1800Mhz and 2600MHz, which should enable it to provide the right balance of coverage for densely populated and more remote areas at the greatest network efficiency.

The network is at the pre-commercial launch stage and Mobitel said that it would look to gradually expand the network alongside its existing GSM and HSPA network. The latter currently offers theoretical speeds of 21.6Mbps and it intends to offer dual carrier HSPA delivering top speeds of 43Mbps.

The operator said that the network is the result of two years of technology investments that have been made with an eye on implementing LTE and LTE Advanced further down the road.

Mobitel’s use of 1800MHz will go down well with major European players Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom and TeliaSonera who all called for the frequency to be used worldwide as a standard for LTE. In a recent interview with Mike Wright, director of networks and access technologies for Australia’s Telstra’s explained that re-farming 1800MHz made a lot of sense for many networks looking to roll out LTE. “If you look around the world, many operators actually own 1800. Our view is that it actually makes sense for a lot of operators to look to re-farm and use it more efficiently”.

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