Vodafone Czech Republic has announced that its 4G LTE network now covers 96% of the population, and in the process satisfies auction criteria laid down by the regulator, the Czech Telecommunications Office (CTU), to provide coverage to eleven administrative districts. The cellco says that it has deployed 4,100 base stations to help it to reach this latest milestone ten months ahead of the deadline as stipulated in the terms and conditions of its licence award. The operator’s director of network development, Jiri Svarc, notes that the ‘criteria for the auction of frequencies for building LTE networks are strict and require prompt coverage of sparsely populated areas,’ pointing out that in the initial phase Vodafone worked to roll out 4G services in the so-called ‘type A’ districts (i.e. those CTO counties designated as districts with lower population density), as well as fully covering the cities of Brno, Plzen and Prague. Vodafone’s LTE mobile internet is delivered through a combination of frequencies in the 800MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz and 2100MHz bands, which it claims has allowed it to nearly double the number of base stations it has, when compared to its rivals.
Further, Vodafone has also announced the launch of a tri-band carrier aggregation (3C) service on its LTE-A network in the city of Karlovy Vary. The initial LTE-A launch took place in 2014, with Vodafone offering end users peak down/upload speeds of 225Mbps/50Mbps. However, as a result of the implementation of 3C, it now claims to be able to support download speeds of 300Mbps using 10MHz of bandwidth in the 800MHz band, 20MHz of 1800MHz spectrum and a 10MHz block at 2100MHz. Vodafone is working with Samsung for the supply of suitable 3C-ready devices, with the pair said to be testing the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+, supporting LTE category 9.