Latvia’s three main cellcos, Latvijas Mobilais Telefons (LMT), Tele2 Latvia and Bite Latvia, have revealed details of recent improvement and expansion works to their respective networks.
Swedish-owned Tele2 confirmed that it installed 19 new ‘4G+’ base stations during H2 2017, eleven of which were deployed in Riga and Riga region – the remaining eight were split across Latgale (three), Vidzeme (two), Zemgale (two) and Kurzeme (one). Tele2’s LTE-A network, which it refers to as 4G+, provides downlink speeds of up to 225Mbps. Commenting on the rollout, Tele2 Technical Director Liga Krumina explained that the cellco’s 4G system is already available to 99% of the population, adding that LTE speeds already exceed the capabilities of the wired broadband alternatives in many areas. ‘The new base stations will help us increase network capabilities and capacities in the territory, to provide our existing and prospective clients with an even better mobile Internet experience,’ the official added.
For its part, Bite said it had invested EUR3 million (USD3.6 million) on network expansion so far this year, including on the deployment of seven new base stations in November – with a further three planned by the end of the year. In a press release, Bite explained that the sites chosen for the deployments were selected based on high levels of data usage, in particular those areas that had seen a spike in consumption over the last year or two. Aigars Sprukulis, Head of Bite’s Network Division, added: ‘This year we have been really active in developing network infrastructure. We have built several dozens of new stations in different small towns of Latvia, providing modern mobile communications for its inhabitants. We also significantly increased the capacity of existing base stations by building 80 4G + stations throughout Latvia. Next year, one of Bite’s goals will be the development of the network in the regions of Latvia, focusing directly on small towns, in order to ensure their citizens a positive experience in mobile communication. In general, we plan to build more than 60 new base stations.’
Finally, LMT announced that it has installed solar cells in Cesis and Jekabpils to provide clean energy for its base stations. The cellco claims that, under optimum conditions, the solar panels provide sufficient power for the sites, although if necessary energy can still be drawn from the national grid to make up any shortfall.