Polkomtel announces commercial 5G in Poland in Q1 2020
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According to PMR’s forecasts, commercial launch of 5G services in Poland will take place even before the 5G auction. Polkomtel, Plus network operator from Cyfrowy Polsat Group, is starting the construction of Poland’s first commercial 5G network on the 2600 MHz TDD frequency. In Q1 2020, customers from 7 cities in Poland will be able to use the services.
5G already after tests
The tests conducted during 2019, and ended in December, were the final step in route to Plus’s preparations for the roll out and launch of the first in Poland commercial 5G network. The roll out of the 5G network, which will exploit the 2600 MHz frequency band using TDD, has already started.
“We have completed the preparation and we are commencing the roll out of the first in Poland 5G network. It is no longer only tests or trials – we will see services which will be commercially available – just like all other services from our offer,” says Miroslaw Błaszczyk, the CEO of Cyfrowy Polsat and Polkomtel, the operator of Plus mobile network, quoted in the announcement.
Commercial launch in 7 cities
Cyfrowy Polsat Group’s 5G network will at the beginning be rolled out in Warsaw, Gdansk, Katowice, Lodz, Poznan, Szczecin and Wroclaw. For the needs of the newly rolled out network the Group has allocated spectrum resources from the 2600 MHz TDD band, offering the possibility of achieving data transfer rates in excess of 500 Mbps while using MIMO 4×4 and QAM256 technologies.
The plan for Q1 2020 is to have 5G launched at around 100 base station locations. The base stations will be equipped with 5G network equipment from Nokia and Ericsson.
TDD key element
Use of the 2600 MHz frequency band for this purpose is known from the commercial 5G networks which already operate in the USA and China. Cyfrowy Polsat Group has been the first in Poland to have started 5G network roll-out based on this technology.
The key element of the 5G network that is being rolled out is the use of the TDD (Time Division Duplex) technology whose sole implementation in Poland has so far been carried out by Cyfrowy Polsat Group in the 2600 MHz (2570-2620 MHz) frequency band. TDD enables data transmission relying on one, joint chunk of spectrum for alternating in time downlink/uplink transmission.
Commercial 5G services before auction
According to PMR forecasts for the Polish telecommunications market, the commercial launch of 5G services in Poland will take place even before the finalisation of the auction planned by the Office of Electronic Communications (UKE) for 2020.
It is worth recalling that already earlier, in Q4 2019, the commercial launch of 5G services in its network in Tri-City was signalled by Play (2100 MHz band). T-Mobile Polska and Orange Polska are testing 5G, using UKE’s permissions and frequencies made available for pilotage. Here is more information about the status of 5G tests in Poland. Interestingly, Plus was at that time the most restrained when it comes to communication concerning 5G tests, waiting – as you can see – with specific information until the very end.