Croatian cellco VIPnet, a subsidiary of Telekom Austria, has announced the commercial launch of Long Term Evolution (LTE) 4G mobile broadband services in partnership with technology vendor Ericsson Nikola Tesla, the local arm of Swedish equipment giant Ericsson. The operator’s press release, dated Friday 23 March 2012, claims that the LTE network was the first to launch in Croatia, although as reported by CommsUpdate, on the same day rival T-Hrvatski Telekom (T-HT) also announced that it had launched the first commercial LTE service in Croatia. Neither operator’s announcement makes it exactly clear when customers can purchase devices for use on the new 4G networks – VIPnet’s release simply states that it will ‘soon’ present its LTE tariffs and devices, enabling data transfer speeds up to ten times faster than existing services on notebook computers and mobile phones. Gordana Kovacevic, president of Ericsson Nikola Tesla, said that VIP ‘has launched into commercial operation the LTE network as soon as regulatory preconditions were met.’ In March 2011 VIPnet tested LTE technology at 800MHz, while it also tested its 4G network on frequencies in the 1800MHz and 2600MHz bands during the year; in July it announced 24sata TV as its first corporate trial LTE customer.
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