T-Mobile Czech Republic has confirmed plans to cover 51% of the population and 73% of the territory with its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network by the end of this year, while the cellco’s combined 3G/LTE network infrastructure will reach 93% of inhabitants in 80% of the country by the same date. The cellco, part of the Deutsche Telekom Group, is investing CZK4 billion (USD202.9 million) in 4G – including buying the licence – and plans to invest an additional CZK13 billion in the coming years. It has already launched LTE commercially in the 800MHz band in the district of Plzen-South in Prague and will continue to extend to other parts of the capital with the aim of covering the entire city by October this year. It also plans to begin pilot trials of voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) functionality on the network by the year end.
Yesterday’s CommsUpdate reported that T-Mobile CR and rival Telefonica O2 CR have signed an agreement to share LTE networks across the country by the end of this year – excepting the cities of Prague and Brno. Under the plan, the pair will start tests on the sharing of Radio Access Network (RAN) equipment, but will retain control over their own network infrastructure and maintain separate business strategies. It is hoped that upon conclusion of trials in the coming months, a commercial launch will follow in the second half of 2014, with Telefonica O2 CR and T-Mobile CR sharing transmitters in order to speed up the use of their LTE networks in the country earlier than the date set by the government’s auction. Telefonica O2 CR will be responsible for looking after the eastern part of the country, while T-Mobile will look after operations in the west of the Republic. The pair say initial data speeds will reach a peak of 75Mbps.