Bite Latvia invested EUR9 million (USD10.3 million) in infrastructure developments in the first nine months of this year and plans to spend a further EUR1 million by the end of 2018 as it looks to keep pace with the rapid growth in demand for high-speed data services. COO Kaspar Buls told Dienas Bizness that mobile data consumption had roughly doubled over the last six months, reaching a monthly average of 5GB per user, adding that video content accounts for more than 65% of traffic on the Bite network. To date, the company has 800 base transceiver stations (BTS), all of which are 4G-enabled, whilst 110 have been upgraded with ‘4G+’ technology (LTE-A) and 30 with ‘4G++’ (LTE-A plus tri-band carrier aggregation [3C]). The bulk of the upgrades have been deployed in the busiest areas, with the official noting: ‘We carefully analyse traffic and we plan the base stations accordingly. Liepaja and Daugavpils are cities where the use of mobile communications, including internet consumption, is growing very fast. That’s why we decided to equip 4.5G technology with one base station in each of these cities to improve the network’s capacity and capacity.’ According to Mr Buls, within weeks of the 4.5G BTS being installed, average daily data consumption at the two sites increased by around 25%.
In terms of future developments, meanwhile, Bite is aiming to build 30 new BTS by the end of the year, and is planning to roll out Massive MIMO across its network starting from January next year. The company also installed its first Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) BTS in Riga this year, and intends to deploy nine more by the end of the year.