Vodafone says its fifth-generation mobile network, launched in five Czech cities on 1 October 2020, is now available in more than 130 cities and smaller municipalities, covering approximately two million people – more than 20% of the population. Further, it notes that by dint of the country’s plan to accelerate what it terms ‘the road to digitisation’, by April 2021 it aims to have freed up frequencies for LTE systems and especially 5G by switching off its older 3G network. Speaking back in July 2020, Milan Zika, Vice President of Technology, had said: ‘We know from statistics that 3G usage has been declining for a long time. In addition, those who only want to make phone calls or write SMS do not have to change their phone, they will use the 2G nationwide network, which remains. The replacement of devices therefore only applies to those who use mobile internet and are now in the 3G network. We are talking about one percent of our customers.’
Slavomir Slanina, Director of Network Development at Vodafone, said: ‘We continue to expand 5G coverage with the help of state-of-the-art Dynamic Spectrum Sharing technology, which enables single-frequency spectrum allocation and state-of-the-art Single RAN technology to serve 5G and LTE customers simultaneously. It’s a significant step that can make efficient use of the allocated spectrum and, combined with the forthcoming shutdown of the 3G network, will help significantly increase network capacity for our customers’ growing needs.’ Vodafone will shut down the 3G network completely at the end of March 2021, releasing frequencies in the 1800MHz and 2100MHz bands in the process.