The Slovakian telco SWAN is expected to soft launch its first Long Term Evolution (LTE) 4G wireless services later this week. A report from Zive.sk suggests that services will initially be limited to areas of Bratislava and Kosice and will be fixed/nomadic rather than truly mobile, as the operator has so far failed to agree national roaming terms with incumbent cellcos Orange, Slovak Telekom and O2. The trio of established operators are only obliged to provide roaming on their networks once SWAN reaches 20% population coverage with its own infrastructure; SWAN expects to attain this level before the end of this month.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, SWAN was announced as the winner of Slovakia’s fourth mobile concession in January 2014, paying EUR6.60 million (USD9.10 million) for its 2×15MHz technology-neutral 4G licence in the 1800MHz band. Having already deployed a WiMAX wireless broadband network, the operator said it would upgrade its 300 or so towers to LTE technology to speed up its rollout. SWAN reportedly targets half a million mobile customers within two years.