Tele2 launches 4G in Croatia, secures new spectrum licences in Lithuania

Tele2 is close to offering 4G services in all markets where it operates a mobile network after launching an LTE network in Croatia, with promised data download speeds of up to 150 Mbps.

According to the Sweden-based group's CEO and president Allison Kirkby, the Croatian 4G launch means that Tele2 will now offer 4G "in its whole MNO footprint once the joint venture in Kazakhstan has been concluded. That is a great milestone for the company," she said.

The company only recently launched a 4G network in the Netherlands, for example.

Although Telekom Austria's VIPnet and Deutsche Telekom-owned Hrvatski Telekom launched their LTE networks in 2012, Tele2 Croatia claims to be the first on the market to offer 4G "by default" to both postpaid and prepaid users. The operator said its 4G network already covers 90 per cent of the population.

Tele2 also announced that it has obtained new spectrum in Lithuania for the expansion of its LTE and LTE Advanced network in this market. Tele2 Lithuania secured licences in the 900 MHz and 1800 MHz bands in an auction launched in January this year, paying a total fee of €13.7 million ($14.9 million).

Describing the spectrum bands as "vital", the operator said the new 15-year licences would ensure continued operations after 2017 when the current licences expire. The new licences will run from Nov. 1, 2017 until Oct. 31, 2032.

"This spectrum secures our highly successful business in Lithuania. It will also enable us to provide improvements in quality and entails a huge potential for further LTE and LTE Advanced development in a highly cost-efficient way," Kirkby said.

Rival operators Omnitel and Bite Lithuania also acquired licences in the auction, which raised a combined total of €38.1 million, reported TeleGeography. The three operators are required to ensure territorial coverage of at least 98 per cent within three years from the date of authorisation. They must also provide mobile broadband speeds of at least 30 Mbps to at least 85 per cent of the country from Jan. 1, 2020.

For more:
- see this Tele2 Croatia release
- see this Tele2 Lithuania release
- see this TeleGeography article

Related articles:
Tele2 revamps management team with new CEOs in Sweden, Netherlands
Europe's operators ring in 2016 with strong data, text traffic growth
Tele2 Netherlands seeks to drown subscribers with LTE data deluge
Tele2 and Kazakhtelecom to form mobile JV in Kazakhstan
Tele2 CEO says management reshuffle will deliver improved customer focus

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