O2 begins offering 5G mobile network in part of Prague and Kolín today
Today, O2 began commercially offering 5G mobile network services in parts of Prague and Kolín. During the summer, it will be available to 15 percent of Prague’s population. Compared to the existing LTE technology, it will increase the mobile internet to up to ten times current speeds.
O2 is the first domestic operator to start offering 5G commercially, with competitors continuing test operations in selected locations. Vodafone is set to gradually test 5G in Karlovy Vary where commercial operations are ready, as well as in Ústí nad Labem and Jeseník. T-Mobile, which this year announced a 5G test network on the campus of the University of Mining in Ostrava, is also preparing a commercial launch.
The city of Pilsen, which is one of five pilot cities for 5G testing within the project of the Ministry of Industry, wants to test how 5G could help drone flights beyond the line of sight, streaming for crisis management and edge computing. He wants to find out how faster infrastructure can be best integrated into rescue systems with the help of 5G networks, increasing safety of the population.
In Jeseník, some citizens are resisting the start of 5G testing. According to concerned citizens, the 5G signal is harmful to health, and they have even been linked to coronavirus disease. According to experts, nothing like these claims have been confirmed, and they also point out that television transmitters transmitting a signal with a higher power have been operating on the same frequencies as 5G, which no one minded. Resistance to 5G is often part of the so-called hoaxes, ie false alarms most often spread over the internet.
O2’s new 5G mobile network covers the wider center of Prague and Kolín. Customers will be able to join 5G, for example, in Prague’s Old and New Towns, Vinohrady, Nusle, Dejvice, and Bubeneč. It offers services to customers of the FREE + and NEO tariffs for a monthly crown.
The operator launched the 5G technology at a frequency of 3.7 GHz, which O2 had previously used. 5G now allows a connection speed of 600/100 Mbit /second. “If the conditions of the frequency auction allow it, we are ready to increase the available speeds and the percentage of coverage,” said Jan Hruška, the company’s technology director. The auction should start in the fall.
O2 is building the fastest network together with CETIN. Last year in Cologne, 5G launched with Ericsson, and now continues testing with Huawei and Nokia.
The majority owner of O2 is PPF investment group Petr Kellner with about 80 percent. O2 has 5.9 million mobile customers.