Telia Lietuva, the largest telecommunications and IT company of the country, is launching next-generation 5G mobile network in Lithuania: 11 base stations of the new technology are already operating at the city centres of Vilnius, Kaunas and Klaipėda, while two more 5G stations will be launched in the Klaipėda Free Economic Zone (FEZ) in early December. Frequencies for testing the technology provided by the Communications Regulatory Authority of Lithuania (CRA) are used for non-commercial 5G communication service.
Since the very beginning of modern mobile connection in Lithuania in 1995, Telia Lietuva was the first to introduce all the latest mobile communication technologies, including 2G, 3G and 4G, in the market. Now the time for 5G has come.
'In 2018, we were one of the first ones in Europe to test 5G technology in live network in Vilnius. Today, 5G connection is taking the second step in Lithuania - we are launching 13 base stations, which will allow people and companies to evaluate the key advantages of 5G, and the impressive speed of mobile Internet first of all, for themselves at no extra cost,' says Dan Strömberg, CEO of Telia Lietuva. He is also responsible for the Danish and Estonian markets in Telia Company Group.
According to Dan Strömberg, the next generation of mobile networks will promote the development of a sustainable digital society and provide a leap in quality in many areas, from education, medicine to transport or leisure.
Telia Lietuva will start providing commercial next-generation 5G mobile communication services in Lithuania after CRA announces official terms and conditions therefor after the 5G frequency auction, which is expected to take place next year.
Last week Telia in Lithuania has entered into a strategic partnership with Ericsson to modernize its mobile network and rollout of 5G across the country. Over the next three years, Telia plans to upgrade around 2,000 sites in Lithuania using Ericsson equipment. Currently Telia Lietuva uses Huawei radio access network (RAN) equipment, which will be phased out starting next year.
Opportunity to test loads
At the request of Telia Lietuva, CRA provided the company with non-commercial frequencies, and the National Public Health Center - with permits to install 13 next-generation mobile base stations. Seven non-commercial Telia Lietuva 5G base stations operate in Vilnius -Gediminas Avenue and Saltoniškių Street, two stations are in Kaunas, in the Old Town and a part of Savanorių Avenue, another two base stations are operating in the Old Town of Klaipėda. In early December, two base stations will be launched in the territory of Klaipėda FEZ.
According to Andrius Šemeškevičius, Chief Technology Officer at Telia Lietuva, not only customers, but also Telia itself will test 5G connection.
'Two years ago, we conducted the first 5G connection tests on a live network, but there basically were no devices on the market that could use it back then. Now the situation has changed essentially, and today, thousands of customers can acquire phones and routers that support 5G, and business can have yet another tool for innovation. Therefore, before acquiring commercial frequencies, it is very important for us to test the functioning of equipment under various conditions, also testing the network, telephone configuration, and data usage needs,' says Šemeškevičius.
The first tests have shown that real mobile data download speed in Telia Lietuva 5G network is up to 1.9 Gb/s, upload reaches up to 200 Mb/s, and latency is up to 10 milliseconds.
Starting today, 5G network will be available in designated areas to Telia Lietuva customers who have payment plans providing unlimited mobile data and Sony, OnePlus, Huawei or Xiaomi smartphones or routers that support 5G technology. Other smart device manufacturers should approve their phones for operation in 5G network in Lithuania in the nearest future.
Telia Lietuva customers, who have devices that already support 5G in Lithuania, but do not have a plan providing unlimited data, and want to test 5G capabilities, can register on Telia website by the end of November and use unlimited 5G data at no extra charge.
Business will also test 5G
Two 5G base stations will also be built in the territory of Klaipėda FEZ, which occupies more than 412 ha. The company managing the FEZ was the one to contact Telia Lietuva with such a request. There are more than 100 companies from 18 countries of the world currently working there.
'We are convinced that 5G is another strong tool for promoting innovation and attracting investment to Lithuania. Mobile robots, autonomous vehicles, drones - 5G is expected to bring changes in various sectors, from manufacturing and logistics to trade. It is a very significant technology for creating new smart services, solutions, and processes. Companies from many different industries work in Klaipėda FEZ, which are eager to be the first in Lithuania to test 5G technology,' says Eimantas Kiudulas, CEO of Klaipėda FEZ.