T-Mobile Slovensko announces UMTS launch; Orange not far behind

26 Jan 2006

The smaller of Slovakia’s two mobile operators, T-Mobile Slovensko, today announced the launch of 3G services over its newly built W-CDMA network covering parts of the capital Bratislava. Wireless market leader Orange Slovensko is aiming to launch a rival 3G service before the end of the first quarter after beginning tests in Autumn 2005. Both cellcos paid USD33 million for an UMTS licence in June 2002; a third company, Profinet.sk, had its licence revoked after failing to pay the required fee.

Despite launching Slovakia’s first mobile services in 1991, T-Mobile had its number one position stolen by younger rival Orange soon after its launch in 1997 and has remained in second place ever since in terms of subscriber numbers. At the end of September 2005 T-Mobile had 1.916 million customers compared with 2.433 million Orange users.