Croatian cellco VIPnet, a subsidiary of Telekom Austria’s Mobilkom unit, has demonstrated Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology in the 800MHz band on a live system, and says it remains on course to launch the 4G mobile broadband service commercially in 2012, utilising the spectrum gained from the country’s transfer to digital television to spread LTE coverage across rural areas. Mladen Pejkovic, chairman of VIPnet, said the operator will earmark at least 10% of its total investments this year for LTE. As previously reported in CommsUpdate, VIPnet began testing LTE in the capital Zagreb in October 2010. More on LTE deployments worldwide can be found in TeleGeography’s 4G Research Service.
Also, VIPnet announced that high speed mobile data services at theoretical download speeds of up to 42Mbps are now available for USB modem users over its newly deployed dual-carrier (DC) HSPA+ networks in four major cities: Split, Zagreb, Osijek and Rijeka. CommsUpdate reported in December 2010 that VIPnet had begun an upgrade to DC HSPA+, starting in Osijek, the country’s fourth largest city by population. The cellco currently covers 17 Croatian cities with its HSPA+ (21Mbps) network.