Bulgarian cellco MobilTel (M-Tel), which introduced LTE services earlier this week, has revealed that download speeds of up to 260Mbps could be achieved in 25% of the 4G network, thanks to 4×4 MIMO technology, nixanbal.com reports. The operator currently offers LTE services to 75% of the population, with plans to expand the footprint to 80% by year-end on the back of a BGN200 million (USD115.7 million) infrastructure investment initiative. Further, M-Tel’s CTO Dejan Kastelic also claimed that the company was ‘the first cellco in the country to test 4.5G technology’, achieving download speeds of 170Mbps in the trial.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, M-Tel first tested LTE technology in the 1800MHz band in 2011, with plans to roll out the service in four cities in early 2012. The launch of the network, however, was subsequently put on the backburner, due to lack of suitable spectrum. The 4G services were belatedly introduced earlier this week, following the 4G launches of rivals MAX (May 2014) and Telenor Bulgaria (previously GloBul, December 2015).