O2’s Czech arm is poised to become the first mobile operator in the country to launch its 5G network commercially from next month. In a press release, the company confirmed that its fifth-generation network now covers 15% of the population in central Prague and Koline in Central Bohemia, where last year O2 launched its first 5G tests in a real world environment. In the initial phase the mobile operator will offer O2 customers FREE + and NEO tariffs for CZK1 (USD0.04) per month noting that customers can get Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G and Samsung Galaxy S20 + 5G smartphones with a discount of up to CZK4,000. ‘Our customers will be able to join 5G in the centre of Kolin and also in Prague in the Old and New Towns, Vinohrady, Nusle, Dejvice and Bubenec,’ confirmed O2 technology director Jan Hruska. The signal will be supported by approximately 50 base stations.
O2 is using the 3.7GHz band for its 5G service, supplemented by Massive MIMO 32T32R and 256QAM technologies. It estimates that the new network will support download/upload connection speeds of 600Mbps/100Mbps. ‘If the conditions of the frequency auction allow it, we are ready to increase the available speeds and the percentage of coverage,’ Hruska added. The next-generation network will also be used to provide fixed-wireless broadband connections to households and companies where traditional cable internet is not fast enough, O2 said in its press release.
‘The new generation of mobile network will offer up to ten times the connection speed of a commonly available 4G network. However, 5G is not just about faster downloads. In real-world customer traffic, we now want to test how the network works under load and elements of smart cities and in other strategic areas for the economy,’ noted O2 CEO Jindrich Fremuth.