On Thursday, November 15, 2018, exactly five years have passed since the start of the first commercial 4G network in Slovakia. Throughout the entire period, it was possible to significantly improve all the parameters of the network, in order to get it where the fast mobile Internet was not in Slovakia up to a few miles.
2013: 4G network unexpectedly starts in five cities
Slovak Telekom launched the 4G network at the beginning in five Slovak cities (Nitra, Trnava, Žilina, Banska Bistrica, Prešov). It was initially 73/23 Mb / s, and in particular data transfer was already a significant step forward in this version. Sending pictures, sharing videos and files is 10 to 20 times faster. By the end of the year coverage was increased to 31 places and 23.7% of the population.
2014: 4G network for more than half of the population and new speed
After a successful 4G network bandwidth, Telekom arrives in Bratislava in April 2014 with a 4G network in Bratislava, where it introduces new maximum speeds: 150 Mbps for download and 50 Mbps. They can be achieved thanks to a better range, but at the same time require even greater coverage in residential areas. Several weeks later, Kosice and Trencin also followed.
By the end of 2014 more than half of Slovakia is covered: already 52 percent. In addition to 84 towns and many villages, tourist areas such as Štrbska Pleso also grew.
2015: 4G + comes in and the new 225 and 300Mbps high speed ceiling
In 2015 coverage was progressing, crossing the border 75 percent. The 4G network is available for 134 cities and hundreds of other villages by the end of the year, including new ski resorts such as Chopok, Jasna, Donoval, Malino Brdo and Velka Rača.
This year Telekom has introduced new technological innovations. In June, LTE-CA (4G +) expanded to 225 Mbps in Nit and defrauded it in November LTE-CA up to 300 Mbps in Bratislava.
At the same time, Telekom received two P3 Best In Test certificates, thanks to the highest rating in the Slovak network operator test.
2016: 375 Mbps in the 4G network and all covered cities
Telekom has taken on new milestones – it covers 140 locations at the end of March 2016, and the total coverage by the end of the year is 87.2%. The 4G + network is also present in other cities such as Košice, Trenčín, Senec and Marianka.
Speed did not happen – in December, 4G + network was launched at speeds up to 375 Mbps in several parts of Bratislava.
Two other Best in Test certificates confirm that the quality in which Telekom managed to skip the results of other operators with the report.
2017: 4G network calls and strong test result
Also, in 2017 the coverage of the 4G network has been expanded in two directions – 89% of the population has already reached the base, and 4G + has reached, for example, Pezinku, Poprad, Zvolen, Piestany or Novy Zamkov.
Great innovation is the beginning of service VoLTE (Voice over LTE). Thanks to this, users do not need to switch from 4G to 3G / 2G networks for calling, getting higher quality and fast connectivity.
In the autumn, Telekom achieved the best F3 Best in Test with the highest score.
2018: 4G again accelerates – up to 877 Mb / s
In 2018, Telekom used its technological know-how and three-story experience that brought consumers higher speeds. Thanks to the so-called "64KAM modulation, it increased the capacity up to 50% when sending data, and the new maximum shipping 75 Mbps.
256KAM modulation again accelerated the ability to transmit data, downloading increased by about a third, and the current maximum shifted from 375 to 500 Mbps.
In the end, Telekom joined a combination of several groups and spectra, added 4k4 MIMO solutions and already reached a new peak in Bratislava: 877 Mbps.
Tests and real solutions
Telekom performed several tests in the 4G network during 2014-2016. Years, which were later used in real commercial placement. About one to two years of operation between pilots and real traffic, as new speeds of 300, 375 and 877 Mbps are gradually introduced.
How is the four-year operation growing?
The 4G network has a significant impact on the overall data traffic. 3G network users began to give, but the network up to 4G proves key growth and significant contribution. For comparison, in 2014, customers submitted 7 PB data, while in 2018, Telekom expects up to three times.
The share of the 4G network is gradually increasing in total traffic. At the end of 2014 it was close to 10%, a year later it reached 30%, at the end of 2016 it exceeded 60% and over 80% of total data traffic.
VoLTE as a modern technology
Start VoLTE, e.g. Calls to the 4G network have been expected for a long time and are a step forward in user experience. In the 4G network, it is possible to connect the call in 1 to 2 seconds to achieve a higher overall connection quality. More than 50 models with VoLTE support are currently in the Telekom portfolio, including the entire range of Apple devices. Their number will continue to grow, which will help make technology a new standard.