4G, highest stake for key telecom players this year


Starting this month, Romanian mobile phone operators will have access to the 4G frequencies won at the spectrum bid held in the summer of 2012. As of April 7, the company will expand its fourth-generation (4G) telecom network to cover 90 towns, thus accounting for over 45 percent of the country’s population, Stefan Slavnicu, technical director of Orange Romania, announced. “Romania is the ninth country in the world to have a +4G network. We are the second +4G operator in Eastern Europe and the first in Romania,” Slavnicu pointed out.
The 4G technology now available in all county capitals and other Romanian towns offers customers in over 1,000 localities real average download and upload speeds of 30 Mbps and 15 Mbps, respectively. Also starting April 7, Orange Romania will allow clients in six towns to test the 4G+ network, which enables a download speed of 300 Mbps using equipment provided by Chinese producer Huawei, a premiere in Romania according to company representatives. “Orange invites all customers from Bucharest, Brasov, Cluj-Napoca, Galati, Iasi, and Timisoara to test the new technology in Orange stores, and encourages producers to put devices compatible with this kind of technology on the Romanian market,” the representative of Orange Romania said further. As of Monday, all Orange subscriptions will include a 3G+ internet traffic at real average download speeds of 6.5 Mbps, covering 94.08 percent of the population. According to Jean-François Fallacher, CEO Orange Romania, the company invested EUR 130 million in infrastructure last year.
“In a few days, Vodafone Romania will upgrade its 4G speed from 100 Mbps to 150 Mbps nationwide, a measure made possible through the use of new radio spectrum licenses. The next speed threshold – 300 Mbps – has already been tested within the Vodafone Romania network and will be made available to clients later in the year,” Giovanni Chiarelli, interim CEO Vodafone Romania and CTO Vodafone Romania, stated Monday at a press conference.
In the new fiscal year (April 2014 – March 2015), Vodafone Romania will expand its number of 4G access points (sites) to cover 70 percent of the urban population by March 2015. By March 2016, the urban population of Romania will have access to 4G coverage through Vodafone Romania.
According to data released by the mobile phone operator, Vodafone Romania 4G services are available in Bucharest and nine other towns – Arad, Bacau, Brasov, Cluj, Constanta, Craiova, Iasi, Galati, and Timisoara. Our network has reported a strong increase in 4G traffic since August 2013. The number of 4G compatible terminals and the number of clients who simultaneously use the 4G network have also increased significantly in the last six months. Our business model is based on accelerated investments in areas that report growth,” Chiarelli stated.
At the start of the year, Vodafone Romania announced additional it would make investments of EUR 55 million in network and stores in the following two years, which will be allotted through global program ‘Spring,’ aimed at accelerating the technological investments of British group Vodafone. Furthermore, Vodafone Romania representatives announced Monday that M-Pesa is now available, a service that allows clients to send and receive money or make payments on their mobile phones without the need for a bank account, subscriber, or card user and regardless of the type of mobile phone. By launching M-Pesa, Vodafone Romania has become the first Vodafone operator in Europe to hold an electronic coin license,” Andrea Rossini, Chief Commercial Officer Consumer at Vodafone Romania, stated.

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