Latvian operator claims 700MHz 5G first

Latvian operator claims 700MHz 5G first

According to its website, Tele2 has carried out research work on 5G in the 700MHz frequency, making it the first Latvian operator to do so.

Citing the importance of research into the use of a frequency that will allow wider coverage for mobile smart devices and Internet of Things (IoT) devices, the operator points out that “the greatest value of this frequency is that it is able to transmit a signal over a much wider area, as well as reach indoor devices”.

At the moment, however, the frequency is not widely available. The operator says that the only low-frequency band is 800MHz, which is used for 4G mobile internet coverage.

For this reason, it says, mobile operators need access to the 700MHz frequency, which would provide additional capacity and coverage in Latvia. However, actual wide availability of this frequency band to Latvia's mobile operators is not expected until the middle of 2022.

Hence Tele2 had short-term permission for the study, which used a 10MHz block, as 10MHz is expected to be the amount allocated to each of the three mobile operators.

The aim of the study was to test the readiness of 5G telecommunications hardware and devices for the 700MHz band, as well as to evaluate the benefits of the band.

Also trialling 5G is Slovakian operator SWAN Mobile, known as 4ka. 4ka has expanded its trial of 5G services to the capital Bratislava and, according to local news reports, has switched on 83 cell sites across the city. It has been trialling 5G in Banska Bystrica, a city in central Slovakia, since December 2019.

According to TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, 4ka is the smallest of Slovakia’s four mobile network operators, with around seven percent of the overall market in subscriber terms at the end of 2020.