Crnogorski Telekom activates 5G network in Podgorica

9 Mar 2022

Crnogorski Telekom (CT) has become Montenegro’s first mobile network operator (MNO) to launch 5G commercial services, following the activation on Monday of cell sites at several locations in the capital Podgorica. Although 5G coverage is currently limited to the Block 5, Tolosi, Dalmatinska and Elastik areas of the city, the company plans to expand availability throughout Podgorica gradually as part of a staged deployment.

CT has partnered with hardware vendor Ericsson Nikola Tesla for its 5G rollout, which uses dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS) to enable existing infrastructure and 4G spectrum to be used.

Commenting on the launch, CT Executive Director Stjepan Udovicic explained the telco is currently focused on increasing network capacity and reducing latency, in order to ensure the technical conditions are in place to provide ‘fantastic’ 5G speeds in future phases of the rollout, once additional spectrum has been released. ‘By the end of May, we will cover important areas in Podgorica, and by the beginning of summer, important areas on the coast, so that we can handle all traffic that will result from a large number of tourists visiting Montenegro,’ he added.

All CT customers can access the service, regardless of their subscription plan, as long as they have a suitable device and are in an area covered by the signal. Only Xiaomi 5G models have so far been enabled, although Samsung, Telekom’s strategic partner in the project, is preparing its handsets for certification and Apple’s could follow ‘soon’.

Following the tender of 5G-ready spectrum in the 900MHz, 1800MHz, 2100MHz and 2600MHz bands in December 2021, telecoms watchdog the Agency for Electronic Communications and Postal Services (EKIP) is finalising preparations to auction 700MHz, 1500MHz, 2300MHz, 3.6GHz and 26GHz frequencies in the second half of 2022, with appropriate approvals to be granted before the end of the year.