Orange Slovakia has launched its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network in three cities, offering peak download speeds of up to 150Mbps. Users in Bratislava, Banska Bystrica and Kosice – cities which are home to around 15% of Slovakia’s population – are now able to access the new high speed service, while the operator plans to expand its 4G footprint to reach 24 cites and 30% of the population by the end of 2014. In March this year Orange selected Alcatel-Lucent to deploy its 800MHz/2600MHz LTE infrastructure. The French-US vendor has partnered Orange since 1996 and is also a supplier of its 2G and 3G radio technology.
Orange is the largest of Slovakia’s three active cellular operators, with around 42% of all subscribers at the end of March according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database. Rival firm Slovak Telekom has been offering LTE in the 1800MHz band since November and introduced 800MHz/2600MHz services in February, while number three player Telefonica O2 launched an 1800MHz 4G network back in August 2012 and is preparing an 800MHz launch. Finally, new entrant SWAN is deploying its own LTE 1800MHz system which will see it become the country’s fourth mobile network operator.