After an intensive battle, that took three months, for the fifth-generation mobile network (5G) band covering the largest territory of the country, the widest 700 MHz radio frequency block was acquired by Telia Lietuva. The operator is ready to provide 5G immediately after receiving the necessary permissions.
“We won twice wider frequency block for our clients and we are ready to launch 5G throughout Lithuania. We expect it to be a matter of weeks, depending on how long the frequency transfer and network registration will take. We know that the responsible authorities are doing everything to ensure that all the procedures would be completed in the nearest future,” says Dan Strömberg, CEO of Telia Lietuva.
The 2×10 MHz radio frequency block in the 700 MHz band will allow consumers to use a combined spectrum thus improving 4G speed and coverage, especially in low density areas. Telia Lietuva has already installed more than 1,000 5G-ready base stations in Lithuania.
In the 5G frequency auction that ended at the beginning of August 2022, Telia Lietuva won the cleanest 3.5 GHz radio frequency band by bidding EUR 7 million. In total, the company will pay EUR 30 million to the Lithuanian budget for both 5G frequency bands.
“We have been preparing for 5G launch for years, making record-high investments in our related infrastructure every year. Even though Lithuania is among the last in Europe to deploy commercial 5G, we will prove that it can become one of the leaders in 5G development. We are committed to invest in the mobile and fiber-optic networks in Lithuania, so that it ensures all its future needs”, states CEO of Telia Lietuva.
In Lithuania, 5G networks will operate at 3.5 GHz and 700 MHz frequencies. Devices in the 3.5 GHz frequency coverage area will be able to reach a speed of up to 2 Gbps. Where 3.5 GHz will not be able to perform, devices will automatically use the wide-coverage 5G in the 700 MHz frequency band. Its speed will be similar to a fast 4G, but it will have much more capacity and significantly lower latency.
Telia Lietuva is the first company in Lithuania to test 5G technology and has been doing it since 2018 by offering 5G services in its existing 2,100 MHz frequency band. The service has started in January, 2022. There have already been 20 base stations operating on commercial frequencies in Vilnius.
The success of auctions that ended, obligates mobile operators to take active steps in ensuring the 5G connection’s development and availability. These steps include the provision of electronic communication services covering at least 98 per cent of Lithuania’s territory and the launch of commercial 5G services in at least one of the country’s major cities within six months from the date of the issued permit as well as launching 5G services in all of the country’s biggest cities starting from 31 December 2023.