The signal of the fifth generation network (5G) already covers the territory where almost 70% of the population of Montenegro lives, and after the decision on the auction for the allocation of pioneer frequencies was made yesterday, users will be able to count on higher speed services as early as the beginning of 2023. and the conditions will be created for the mass connection of a large number of intelligent Internet devices (Internet of Things, IoT). However, 5G in full capacity will be available to users only in the period between 2027 and 2030.
Darko Grgurović, executive director of the Agency for Electronic Communications and Postal Services (EKIP), told Vijest.
At the last session, the Council of the Agency made a decision to launch a public bidding procedure for frequencies from the so-called “pioneer band”.
– The auction of pioneering 5G bands, which EKIP plans to conduct by the end of 2022, i.e. the allocation of spectrum from the 700 MHz, 3,600 MHz and 26 GHz bands will enable operators to implement 5G networks and deliver 5G services in full capacity already at the beginning of the next calendar year . All these activities are in accordance with the action plan and dynamics determined by the road map for the introduction of 5G mobile communication networks in Montenegro, which the Government of Montenegro adopted at the end of 2021 – he said.
In March, in Podgorica, Crnogorski Telekom was the first to commercially offer the signal of the fifth generation network.
The Agency said that access to the 5G network is possible thanks to the allocation of frequencies from the available spectrum, as well as the provision of 5G commercial services based on technology that for the first time enables the parallel use of LTE (4G) and 5G in the same frequency range.
– After public consultations conducted at the end of 2020, the Agency decided to carry out the procedure of allocation of available spectrum in two phases. The first phase has already been successfully completed with the granting of approvals from the 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2 GHz and 2.6 GHz bands at the beginning of the year. Thanks to the additional spectrum that the operators received in that spectrum auction procedure, like most operators in the European Union, our operators, Crnogorski Telekom and One Crna Gora, started providing 5G commercial services to their users on the basis of dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS). technology that for the first time enables the parallel use of LTE and 5G in the same frequency range. Technology determines demand for 5G and LTE in real time,
According to him, specifically for the user, this means that depending on whether he has a 5G or 4G smartphone in the radius of the base station and antenna equipped with DSS technology, he will surf in 5G or 4G (LTE) standard. The Agency previously clarified that the DSS technique, which enables the use of 4G frequency bands and infrastructure for the provision of 5G services, based on the sharing of network resources between LTE and NR users, was applied by many European operators in order to implement 5G technology as quickly as possible. They also state that, in that case, due to the small width of the engaged spectrum, we cannot talk about full-capacity 5G services.
For the further development of 5G networks in Montenegro, which is the second phase, frequencies from the so-called “pioneer spectrum” will be allocated. The auction for those bands – 700 MHz, 3.6 GHz and 26 GHz, the Agency says, will start soon. EKIP has repeatedly announced that it is a very demanding procedure which, among other things, should provide new benefits for users and the Montenegrin economy on the one hand, but also preserve and encourage effective competition on the market of mobile electronic communication services on the other hand.
The agency has already conducted several rounds of public consultations with interested entities, and the Ministry of Economic Development and Tourism has recently, Grgurović says, determined the lowest amounts of one-time fees for granting approval for the use of radio frequencies (initial price).
– So that all the conditions have been met for the Agency to make a decision on the initiation of the public bidding procedure. The spectrum auction will be conducted electronically with the use of the appropriate auction software developed by the chosen consultant and in which the spectrum auction rules are incorporated, in our case it is a total of 167 auction rules, which fully regulate the conduct of the spectrum auction. By granting approval to the winners of the spectrum auction and starting to use these bands, operators will be able to offer their users higher speed services with less delay, and the conditions will be created for the mass connection of a large number of IoT devices – said Grgurović to Vijesti.
The Agency previously said that by allocating radio frequencies from the pioneering 5G bands, primarily from the 3.6 GHz band, conditions will be created for the development of 5G networks that enable data transmission at gigabit per second (Gb/s) speeds. They also point out that the development of the 5G network implies the implementation of radio base stations in a significantly larger number of locations than was the case in 4G networks – according to some estimates, even three to four times more locations. In addition, it is necessary to bring optical power to each 5G radio base station…
The Agency said that, as in previous auctions, and in the auction for the allocation of frequencies from the so-called “pioneer spectrum”, they will prescribe a whole series of requirements regarding the scope and dynamics of network signal coverage and regarding the development of the 5G network.
They remind that the control points for fulfilling those requirements are determined in accordance with the digital transformation strategy, adopted by the Government of Montenegro in 2021 and relevant EU acts, and refer to the end of 2024, 2026 and the end of 2030.
When asked what are the prerequisites for the further development of the infrastructure for the development of the 5G network in Montenegro, Grgurović as one of the most significant states that local governments should improve the administrative procedures for the construction of electronic communication infrastructure and networks – for issuing urban-technical conditions and building permits to operators.
– Operators now point out that they need an average of nine months to complete the entire procedure and acquire the necessary conditions for building the infrastructure. The developed countries of the world have recognized how important 5G networks will be for the overall development of the economy and society, so the coordinated introduction of 5G mobile networks in many countries has become part of the overall social and economic development strategy… – he said.
Any interested legal entity that purchases the Documentation for public bidding and has at least ten years of experience in the implementation of public mobile electronic communication networks and the provision of public mobile electronic communication services can participate in the public tender. A group of bidders (consortium) also has the right to participate in the public bidding process.
After paying the purchase fee, interested parties can collect the documentation for the public bidding at the Agency’s headquarters from today until November 28, every working day, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Tentatively, the auction will start between December 19 and 23, while the authorization for the use of radio frequencies is expected in February or March 2023.
Before buying, ask the operator about the right 5G device
To access the 5G network, the user must also have a suitable 5G terminal. The Agency advised users to consult with their operator before purchasing new 5G terminals regarding the choice of the right model, but also whether the area where they spend most of their time is covered by the 5G signal.
As they said, Crnogorski Telekom has so far, when it comes to 5G, put into operation 53, and One Montenegro eight NR base stations.
NR, i.e. New Radio, is the name for the radio access part of the 5G network. With the 4G network, it is LTE (Long Term Evolution).
– By the end of September, Crnogorski Telekom put into operation 53 NR base stations operating in the 2 GHz range, while in the network of operator One Montenegro, six NR base stations in the 2 GHz range and two NR base stations in the 2.6 GHz range are active – they said are from the Agency.
According to the data communicated to EKIP, over 10,000 users have been registered in the 5G network of Crnogorski Telekom so far.
What does 5G bring?
Higher data transfer speeds enabled by 5G technology will affect the way we use the Internet. This was previously said by Telenor, i.e. the company One Crna Gora.
Apart from higher speed, the advantages of 5G technology are also reflected in greater stability and reliability of the network, shorter response time and lower delay, as well as the possibility of connecting a much larger number of devices.
In the telecommunications sector, they say that 5G technology is expected to influence industrial processes, the way of management, cost optimization and increase the level of automation.
– So driving cars, watching television, and even surgical procedures will look completely different, not to mention other areas – they said earlier from One Montenegro, local media reports.