Telenor Hungary has begun a comprehensive infrastructure development project worth EUR200 million (USD270 million), aiming to see a ‘LTE-ready and future-proof’ network fully operational in 2012. The project requires the replacement of the mobile operator’s 6,000 base transceiver stations (BTSs) across the country, making it the largest network development project in Hungary to date, according to the company, and addressing Telenor’s capacity needs for the foreseeable future. ‘In our bid to become Hungary’s favourite mobile operator, we have taken the bold decision to invest in a brand new network which will be able to easily meet the future needs of our customers in what will become a data driven age,’ said Gyorgy Koller, CTO of Telenor Hungary. 150 company staff will work on the two-year programme alongside the same number of workers from Chinese technology provider ZTE, beginning with a network audit, and involving the full replacement of the radio access network (RAN) and core networks, as well as introducing a new voicemail system. ‘It is important to know that next generation mobile broadband services can be offered only [if] regulatory requirements are met. We are looking to the government to ensure that the newest technologies are available to the Hungarians because we firmly believe that mobile internet is the way to go forward to help the country’s economic development,’ Mr Koller added, referring to the need to issue LTE/4G spectrum licences. In its press release, Telenor Hungary claimed to have approximately 320,000 existing mobile broadband internet customers.
Telenor’s network audit will also result in rationalising existing network elements, with improved indoor and outdoor quality meaning that some base stations might become entirely redundant or could be merged with others. For this purpose, Telenor has announced a site auction, inviting applicants to submit potential sites for setting up base stations.