STRONG INVESTMENTS AS A FOUNDATION FOR
DIGITALIZATION AND FUTURE GROWTH
At the beginning of 2018, Hrvatski Telekom started a program worth more than HRK one billion for the modernization of the radio access network, which includes the modernization of infrastructure, expansion of transport capacities, and replacement of radio equipment. The goal is to ensure, in addition to applying state-of-the-art implementation concepts in the industry, the possibility of introducing innovative solutions to improve service quality and mobile network performances, aiming to improve customer perceptions. During the modernization of the mobile network, in addition to replacing the existing equipment, the existing access network capacities are expanded, which enable:
- increased coverage of 3G and 4G mobile network services in the entire territory of the Republic of Croatia,
- the uniform quality of mobile network service in rural and urban areas as an important infrastructure precondition for development
- increased available data rates (max up to 1 Gbps)
- increased quality of voice service
- additional capacity for access of an increased number of users during the tourist season
Thanks to increased investments, at the end of 2019, the program of modernization of the radio access network was successfully completed. The modernization provided the availability of LTE at almost all locations of HT's mobile network (98 percent), which enabled three times higher capacity and 75 percent higher bandwidth. In addition to improving 4G performance, the modernization provided the prerequisites for the successful deployment of the 5G network. The mobile 4G coverage of the population inside is 89.1 percent, and outside 99.4 percent. We continued to increase the speed of the 4G network to download speeds of up to 350 Mbit/s for 79 percent of the population and to download speeds of up to 300 Mbit/s for 6 percent of the population.
DEVELOPMENT OF 5G NETWORK
5G is not only a new telecommunications network, because it encompasses an entire system based on new advanced services. By implementing the 5G technology in real conditions, we are opening the door to the 4th industrial revolution and gig society in Croatia. We believe that thus we can activate the potential of all corners of Croatia, stimulate positive economic trends, open up many new opportunities, and provide better living conditions for citizens across Croatia. The main features of 5G technology are a high maximum speed per user (over 1 Gbps), extremely fast network response of only a few milliseconds, and a large capacity in terms of the number of users and simultaneously connected devices. New technology brings new opportunities related to the development of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and broadband internet access, and opens wide application in industry, agriculture, education, and healthcare and will encourage many innovations and contribute to stronger economic growth and greater global competence. 5G will also play an important role for residential users and will enable broadband speeds to fixed internet users using mobile technology. You can find all relevant information and answers to questions related to 5G technology on the dedicated web page..
In 2019, the focus of modernization of the new generation fixed access network (NGA) was on fiber optic networks, with the coverage of an additional 50,100 households with FTTH technology. Total fiber optic coverage to the apartment increased to 280,358 households. Furthermore, during 2019, additional intensive activities related to the hybrid approach were carried out for users who are out of reach of fixed high-speed networks. 110,356 users got higher speeds through the hybrid approach.
HT covered 60.2 percent of households with technologies that enable speeds >30 Mbit/s, of which 23.6 percent with technologies that enable speeds >100 Mbit/s. Optical Access Network (FTTx) is available for 438,000 households.
In addition to investments in optical infrastructure, in areas with the existing copper access network, the investments are aimed at shortening the length of the copper pair to provide users with speeds of at least thirty megabits per second, and to further implement advanced technological solutions such as the so-called supervectoring functionality that delivers user speeds over one hundred megabits per second to users connected via short length copper pairs.
HT was the first in the market to introduce a Hybrid Access fixed-mobile convergence service aiming to increase speeds for users on fixed connections that have the technical capability to achieve lower speeds. Thanks to this innovative hybrid technology, access to high speeds of up to thirty megabits per second is available in rural and less populated areas of Croatia. It is a combination of the most affordable fixed and the best mobile network as a single service that provides stable and fast internet access. More than 110,000 thousand users are already enjoying the benefits of this innovative technology on the Croatian market.
Data centers are the very heart of all telecommunications and ICT services offered by HT and therefore significant resources are invested to maintain and raise the level of data center security against outages (Tier3 standardization). This means that in the event of a power failure, data centers operate continuously, allowing users to use all the services offered. In addition to investing in the energy part, investments are also in IT infrastructure, especially in virtualization of equipment in data centers, enabling services to operate at a high availability level with less power and other resources.