21.03.2023 - Companies, ICT

Bite invests in further developing 5G network

In its ongoing efforts to develop its next-generation mobile communications network, the Lithuanian information and communication technology service provider Bite has now switched on 172 5G base stations across Latvia. By the end of the year, more than 350 5G base stations are expected to be operational in Bite’s network, ensuring 5G coverage across almost 30% of Latvia and providing 5G access to up to 50% of its population.

Arūnas Mickevičius, General Director of Bite Latvija, says that network development is a strategic priority for the company and that Bite’s focus for the next 10 years will be on 5G. So far, Bite has worked with the Swedish telecommunications equipment manufacturer Ericsson to prepare the network for 5G, equipping base stations and developing services.

“Customers with 5G-enabled devices will be able to take full advantage of the high-speed internet. It should also be mentioned that with the introduction of 5G, the technologies of existing mobile generations will continue to exist, so any devices currently in use that support, for example, 4G technology, will continue to work as before,” explained Mickevičius in a statement to the media.

He indicates that 5G has great potential as this technology is able to offer fibre-quality internet services without cable infrastructure to populations in previously hard-to-reach areas.

17 million euro to be invested this year

Bite plans to switch on 400 5G base stations by the end of the year. It is to build 80 new base stations this year, bringing the total to 1067. Last year too, Bite established 80 new base stations.

“Currently, our goal is to build a 5G network in the suburbs, smaller cities, as well as the largest cities of Latvia, where mobile internet consumption is high and a large number of devices are connected to the Bite network. By the end of 2023, we will invest EUR 17 million in network development, half of which is earmarked for 5G development,” says Mickevičius.

The company’s 2023 investment in network infrastructure development goes hand in hand with growing customer numbers and mobile data usage, which grew by 22% in 2022. This year, 240 base stations in the network are to be upgraded with Ericsson technology, improving internet speeds by 30% and capacity by 10%.

LMT and Tele2 also investing in 5G

The Latvian mobile operator and innovator LMT also plans to continue strengthening its 5G capacity this year, with one focus being on enabling networks in Latvia’s ports and the Baltic Sea, wrote Labs of Latvia.

Tele2, the Swedish telco, plans to launch around 300 new 5G base stations in Latvia this year, and upgrade 300 4G base stations, wrote Labs of Latvia.

Author: Lelde Beņķe (labsoflatvia.com). Publicity photo.

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