Telekom Slovenije has announced the first phase of a national roll-out of a 5G mobile network in Slovenia.
The company 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.
The complete public mobile network will broadcast in the 2600MHz frequency spectrum band and will take advantage of the operator’s existing estate of base stations, which it already uses for its 4G mobile network.
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 suppliers complete all the required software updates. The company has committed to planning for at least two major phases of 5G development over the coming years.
While conceding that the full potential of 5G technology will become available to users only after further frequency bands are awarded, in the first phase of development, Telekom Slovenije has so far upgraded 150 base stations, providing about 25% coverage with the 4G/5G network. By the end of the year, it expects to surpass 33% coverage.
“We can hardly imagine living without the proper support of high-capacity mobile services at every step,” said Matjaž Beričič, CTO at Telekom Slovenije. “Mobile data traffic has been growing exponentially, with data transfer in our mobile network increasing more than 25-fold compared to 2013, when we launched the fourth generation of mobile networks. This and the need to ensure continued technological development of IoT [internet of things] were the main reasons we decided to take this next step in our development, the first step towards the introduction of 5G.”
Telekom Slovenije president Tomaž Seljak added: “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.
“A lot of critical business communication is already carried over our advanced 4G network, which has clearly proved its merit when work and learning simultaneously became remote during the epidemic. The volume of traffic over the mobile network continues to grow, while transport capacities of existing mobile networks are limited. The upgrade from 4G to 5G will bring us into the gigabit decade.”
Telekom Slovenije is also collaborating on the 5G Safety project with Port of Koper and Internet Institute, and in the 5G-LOGINNOV European development project looking at solutions in logistics as part of Industry 4.0. This will bring together 15 partners from several European countries and will launch in September.