T-Mobile to extend LTE coverage to outlying parts of capital and other towns this summer

28 May 2012

Magyar Telecom’s T-Mobile Hungary unit plans to extend the service coverage of its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network to suburban parts of Budapest and several other provincial towns this summer, the telco said in a press release. As it stands, the cellco’s 4G network – launched in January this year – provides outdoor population coverage of 90% of the capital, while indoor coverage is 73%.

By the end of June 2012 the carrier hopes to increase its LTE footprint to the areas of God, Fot, Szentendre, Nagykovacsi, Tokol, Diosd, Csomor, Taksony, Piliscsaba, Ullo, Gyomro, Szodliget, Mogyorod and a large part of Budapest. The towns of Szombathely and Debrecen, Kecskemet, Gyor, Siofok and Keszthely will also be served at the same date.

Despite the new service rollout plans, Magyar Telekom’s CEO and president Christopher Mattheisen has warned that the group’s future investment plans could be put under threat by new government-imposed telecoms taxes. ‘Future developments, however, could be jeopardised if the industry [is unfairly burdened with] discriminatory special taxes [resulting in a] reduced level of available resources, and a slowdown in investment in the telecommunications sector,’ the CEO emphasised.

Alongside its 4G rollout, T-Mobile Hungary is also continuing efforts to boost its HSPA coverage which currently stands at 474 towns and cities, equivalent to 75% of the Hungarian population. The cellco also boasts 700 base transceiver stations on its network with HSPA+ connectivity (maximum download rates of 21Mbps) and says it is currently deploying an HSPA+ upgrade in the Budapest subway system, which will be ready in October. T-Mobile’s mobile broadband upgrades have resulted in more than 1.1 million customers using its services, while users of the fledgling LTE service are numbered in the ‘thousands of customers’, it said.