Eurotel reports over 80,000 wireless broadband users; announces plans to shut down NMT network

16 May 2006

Czech mobile operator Eurotel Prague yesterday announced that it has signed up more than 80,000 users to its CDMA-based wireless broadband internet service. Eurotel, a unit of Cesky Telecom which, in turn, is majority-owned by Spain’s Telefónica, launched its CDMA service in August 2004 and amassed 50,000 users in its first year. The high speed internet service operates in the 450MHz band and is available to more than 80% of the Czech population. Eurotel added that it also has about 68,000 users of its slower speed wireless internet service, which is based on the GSM standard. At the end of the first quarter, Eurotel’s overall customer base, including both voice and data services users, totalled 4.7 million.

In a separate story, Eurotel has confirmed it plans to shut down its outdated NMT analogue network in July 2006. Customers who still use the NMT-based services will be migrated to the company’s GSM or UMTS networks, with their existing number and tariffs. ‘It is increasingly difficult and very costly to maintain the outdated NMT analogue technology in operation and this is why we decided now to terminate NMT operations,’ said Eurotel’s Chief Commercial Officer Andrei Torriani. At the end of the first quarter, the operator had 32,000 users of its NMT voice services.

Czech Republic