In an announcement on its website (25 September 2014) O2 Slovakia has revealed plans to launch commercial 4G LTE network services in the capital Bratislava and second-largest city Kosice in December this year, while setting a 50% national LTE population coverage target for end-2015. O2 aims to cover 70% of the population with LTE before the deadline stipulated by its licence (end-2018). Having launched a small-scale commercial LTE 1800MHz pilot service in August 2012 in a handful of western villages, O2 Slovakia is rolling out full-blown 1800MHz and 800MHz LTE network services following a multi-band licence win in December 2013. The operator added in its release that its current portfolio of devices is around 40% 4G-capable, whilst it estimates that around 4.6% of existing customers are already using a 4G-capable device. More than 50% of existing customers have a 4G-compatible SIM card, while replacing a non-compatible SIM card is free of charge. Users will be able to access the LTE network by activating any data package, while O2 expects to offer actual 4G data speeds of around 20Mbps-25Mbps download and 10Mbps-15Mbps upload, with theoretical maximum speed of 73Mbps.
Additionally, O2 Slovakia announced that it continues to expand its 3G network, which covers to date 61.1% of the population. During the first nine month of 2014 O2 has upgraded 180 3G cell sites and added 20 new 3G sites. By April 2015 it plans to expand 3G services to another 90 locations, whereupon it estimates that 3G population coverage will reach 65%.
Furthermore, O2 disclosed it is launching a 2G network modernisation programme, primarily intended to expand the capacity of voice services.