Slovak Telekom announced the launch of 4G LTE mobile broadband services with coverage of five cities on 15 November – over an 1800MHz network – in Trnava, Nitra, Zilina, Banska Bystrica and Presov. During the remainder of 2013 and 2014 the operator said it will launch LTE in other cities in western, central and eastern Slovakia, and will cover 20% of the population with 4G services in three months. At launch the data-only LTE-1800 service offers maximum theoretical mobile data speeds of 73Mbps download/23Mbps upload. To use the new network Slovak Telekom customers need a compatible USIM card – and may exchange an older SIM card free of charge – plus a data package supporting 4G usage, while twelve LTE-1800 compatible devices are available at launch. These include smartphones (from HTC, Nokia and Sony), tablets and a new 4G USB modem (Huawei E3276), while 4G-ready devices from Apple and Samsung will be added ‘in the next few weeks’. A free start-up 4G mobile internet package is being offered under a promotion ending 15 February 2014, when it will be discontinued and remaining users must sign up for a fully paid-for package. Specific LTE packages are available for laptop/PC users with unlimited mobile data.
Slovak Telecom is technically the country’s second commercial LTE operator, as Telefonica O2 Slovakia offers an LTE network but only covering a small number of villages and surrounding areas in western Slovakia.