From the start of this week, the users of Crnogorski Telekom in the Montenegrin capital Podgorica have had access to a 5G network in a number of locations, making the company the first operator in Montenegro to put a 5G network into commercial operation.
The operator says that 5G is available to all users, regardless of the package they subscribe to, as long as they have a suitable device and are in the area covered by the signal.
It’s early days yet of course. The company points out that the gradual extension of 5G coverage will follow until the first in a series of goals is achieved: full coverage of the capital with the new generation network. At the moment, the emphasis is on increasing the capacity of the network and reducing latency.
The estimate is that by the end of May most important areas in Podgorica will be covered, and by the beginning of summer important areas on the coast will have coverage, allowing tourist traffic access to 5G.
The 5G network in Podgorica is based on dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS) implemented by Telekom in partnership with Ericsson Nikola Tesla. This allows existing infrastructure and 4G spectrum to be used.
As for future 5G spectrum availability, spectrum auctions took place in late December. Licences obtained during the auctions are valid between 21 April 2022 and 1 September 2031. 5G mobile networks are expected to be introduced by the end of 2022. It is not clear when they will cover the entirety of Montenegro's territory of 13,812 square kilometres and its 620,739 population.