Initial 5G services are available in major cities across Slovenia, covering an estimated 25% of the population
Telekom Slovenije has launched what it’s calling the first commercial 5G network in Slovenia with support from Ericsson, who is supplying the operator with RAN and packet core solutions. Ericsson also assisted with a software installation to existing Ericsson Radio System and packet core equipment, which will enable spectrum sharing between 4G and 5G on 2600 MHz FDD spectrum, traditionally used only for 4G.
In the press release, Matjaž Beričič, management board member and CTO, Telekom Slovenije, commented, “Mobile data traffic is growing exponentially, so we must ensure further development of our network in order to provide an excellent user experience with new emerging services and applications, including IoT. This is an evolutionary journey made possible by our strong 4G network with well-established VOLTE capabilities.
He went on to say that Telekom Slovenije has been long preparing for the deployment, using its existing spectrum.
“Our gradual 5G rollout strategy, launching 5G on 2600 MHz band as a first step,” he said, “is the best choice with best possible rollout of coverage and capacity in 2020 and beyond. Evolution of our network in the future very much depends on new spectrum auction outcome, so we keep our options open for new possibilities, in particularly since we know network requirements for vision 2025 will be even more demanding.”
Telekom Slovenije will also deploy 5G “campus” networks, in which virtual dedicated networks for various verticals, such as energy, transport, logistics, industry, smart cities, health, public safety and critical services are provided within one physical infrastructure.
Beričič highlighted the importance of 5G network for Slovenia: “Upgrading existing our 4G networks to 5G puts Slovenia on the map of the most digitally advanced countries.”
Initial 5G services were launched July 23 and are available in major cities across the country, covering an estimated 25% of the population, with plans to increase coverage to 33% of the population by end of 2020.