Tele2 Estonia has announced that it has launched 5G technology in selected parts of Tallinn. In a statement dated 14 July, Tanel Sarri, Tele2’s Head of Technology, commented: ‘Although the 5G auctions are still ongoing, we already have a working 5G [network] … Tele2 customers can use the 5G network in the areas of Noblessner, Telliskivi Loomelinnak and Viru Center [all Tallinn], and outside the capital also in Kiisa. During the summer, we will expand the coverage area in the centre of Tallinn, and in the fall we will move forward, making 5G available on Mustamae as well.’
The network is understood to utilise the legacy 2300MHz frequencies that Tele2 inherited via its takeovers of ST Networks and Televorgu in 2006 and 2010, respectively. With reference to the complaints made by other operators regarding Tele2’s spectrum holdings, Mr Sarri added: ‘Years ago, Tele2 bought two companies that already had a frequency band that can also be used to develop new services. We made a prudent decision and saw the potential even then to offer value to our customers: the 2300MHz frequency band is well suited for both 4G and 5G communications. Other market participants also had the opportunity to make their offers for the purchase of the companies.’
TeleGeography notes that rival operators Telia and Elisa have both scooped up 3.5GHz licences in recent months, via the government’s long-awaited 5G auction. Elisa paid EUR7.206 million (USD7.756 million) for its 5G permit in May, after 57 rounds of bidding, while Telia committed to pay EUR8.500 million on 15 July, after 70 bidding rounds. Tele2 is now set to go head-to-head with Lithuania-based Bite Group for the third and final 3.5GHz concession. Bite, which is operational in Lithuania and Latvia, has long harboured ambitions to enter the Estonian mobile market.