The Czech Republic’s fourth mobile network operator (MNO) U:fon, which was taken over by Air Telecom, a subsidiary of F & N Marketing Group, in December 2012, is to be sold to private equity firm Nordic Investors. A press release on the MNO’s website confirms that it is seeking a move into the LTE market within the next twelve months. Air Telekom chairman Martin Hes says that the decision to sell the unit is a ‘significant step’ to achieving this aim. ’It’s a logical outcome, we invested primarily in a technological shift in society. Today the project is completed, for which we thank all the people who worked on the project together. Investing in new technology deployment will be in the hundreds of millions of crowns’, Hes said. Echoing this, the operator’s director of development and strategy, Roman Fura, noted: ‘In the past three years we have worked intensely on how to prepare the CDMA network for the transition to LTE, and to obtain the necessary permits to operate the network on new technology. Thus, we have created the necessary conditions for the deployment of LTE networks and putting it into operation.’
Air Telecom currently operates a CDMA network under the brand name U:fon, and claims signal coverage of almost 90% of the Czech Republic and a maximum data transfer speed of 3.1Mbps. ‘Given that the LTE network will run in the 400MHz band, it is anticipated that we will be able to offer fast internet and VoLTE, and also support smart services such as Smart Home, Smart City, Smart Education or SMART Health services,’ Fura added.