Slovakia’s largest operators, including Orange Slovensko, had previously revealed plans to postpone the launch of 5G networks
In July 2019, 4ka became the first and only provider to introduce 5G to Slovakia, even as the country’s most prominent operators—including the largest, Orange Slovensko—all revealed plans to postpone the launch of 5G networks, instead deciding to focus on the improvement and expansion of 4G.
That sentiment, however, appears to be changing, as it has been announced that Orange Slovensko will utilize Nokia’s 5G New Radio (5G NR)-based AirScale hardware and software for new 5G frequency bands in a “long-term end-to-end network collaboration.”
The agreement, which will support Orange Slovensko’s evolution of its recently updated AirScale-based 4G network, is expected boost Orange’s network capacity, and offer improved experiences and innovative 5G services to consumer and enterprise users.
In addition to the NR equipment, Nokia will also provide its NetAct Management System and advanced automation and efficiency tools. The deal will support Orange Slovensko in the evolution of its recently-modernized AirScale-based 4G network, by activating 5G in existing bands through pure software upgrades.
Federico Colom, CEO of Orange Slovensko, commented that the operator’s relationship with Nokia has already brought several user experience improvements, and this agreement will further those improvements.
“We are taking the next step towards launching next-generation mobile services, leveraging our recently modernized 5G-ready Radio Access Network. In the long run, this will give us a significant competitive advantage as we build the network of the future, enabling outstanding customer experience, innovation in mass and enterprise markets, lean and with optimal power consumption,” he said.
In the same press release, Tommi Uitto, president of mobile networks at Nokia, said, “Our technology will allow Orange Slovensko to smoothly transition towards 5G. This deal builds on our long-standing trusted relationship with Orange and will deliver a superior experience for businesses and consumers alike, allowing them to unlock the future potential of 5G.”
At the China International Import Expo in November, Slovakia’s Deputy Prime Minister for Investments and Information Richard Rasi spoke to CGTN about the country’s technology goals, which included advancements in artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles and of course the latest generation of cellular technology, with Rasi adding that from his perspective, “the future is 5G.”