Plus begins construction of commercial 5G network

Polkomtel, the Plus network operator from the Cyfrowy Polsat Group, is beginning construction of Poland’s first commercial 5G network using the 2600 MHz TDD frequency. In Q1 2020, customers in at least 7 cities across Poland will be able to use the new technology.

Plus begins construction of commercial 5G network

The tests conducted in 2019 concluded in December the preparations of Plus to create and launch the first commercial 5G network in Poland. Construction of the 5G network on the 2600 MHz TDD frequency has now begun.

“We always say that we prefer to act and talk concretely about what we are already doing rather than just talk about plans or intentions. Today we have concrete information for the Poles – we have completed the preparations and are starting the construction of the first 5G network in Poland. These will no longer be tests or trials – these will be commercial services available just like all the others in our offer” – says Mirosław Błaszczyk, CEO of Cyfrowy Polsat S.A. and Polkomtel Sp. z o.o., the Plus network operator.

The construction of the 5G network of the Cyfrowy Polsat Group will initially be carried out in Warsaw, Gdańsk, Katowice, Łódź, Poznań, Szczecin and Wrocław. The resources in the 2600 MHz TDD band held by the Group have been earmarked for its needs, allowing speeds of over 500 Mb/s to be exceeded using MIMO 4×4 and QAM256 technologies.

“We deliberately start construction not in one, but several locations in Poland. As a result, the residents of 7 cities will be able to benefit from the advantages of Poland’s first commercial 5G network” – says Justyna Kulka, Member of the Management Board of Polkomtel Sp. z o.o., the Plus network operator.

The key element of the 5G network being built is the use of TDD (Time Division Duplex) technology, whose only commercial implementation in Poland has Cyfrowy Polsat Group in the 2600 MHz band (2570-2620 MHz). TDD allows for the implementation of data transmission using a single, common portion of the band for time alternating downlink/uplink transmission.

“The operation of TDD can be compared to traffic on a modern highway – instead of crowding in queues at the gates, on Friday evening we open 4 lanes of the highway, e.g. from Lodz to Gdansk, and on Sunday 4 lanes in the opposite direction. On the other hand, on a regular freeway, if there is a traffic jam in one direction, the traffic in the other direction is minimal and nothing can be done about it – this is how FDD technology works. Cyfrowy Polsat is the only operator in the Polish market to use the TDD technology both in LTE and in 5G”. – adds Justyna Kulka, Member of the Management Board of Polkomtel Sp. z o.o., the Plus network operator.

The solution used in the construction of the 5G network by the Cyfrowy Polsat Group is the most modern technology which has been introduced worldwide since recently. The use of the 2600 MHz frequency for this purpose is known from the commercial 5G networks already operating in the USA and China. The Cyfrowy Polsat Group was the first in Poland to start building a 5G network based on this technology.

It is planned to launch 5G on about 100 base stations in the first quarter of 2020. The base stations will be equipped with modern 5G network equipment supplied by Nokia and Ericsson.

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