Vodafone Czech Republic has demonstrated a 5G test in the spa Karlovy Vary. The 5G mobile internet speed reached 1.84 Gbps. The operator plans to launch 5G commercially in the first quarter of 2019. Other operators have plans for 5G, toom but implementation will depend on the spectrum auction for the bands 700 MHz and 3.5 GHz scheduled for 2019, reported mobilenet.cz.
The spa city Karlovy Vary is also home to an international film festival. In summer 2010, it was one of the first cities where Vodafone launched 3G and in 2013, LTE.
The 5G testing was demonstrated on a Huawei antenna with an active MIMO 64x64 configuration, i. e. 64 receivers and 64 transmitters. Vodafone will use Huawei antennae for the pilot and commercial operation, too. The core components will be supplied by Ericsson.
For the test in Karlovy Vary, Vodafone used the band 3.5 GHz and a bandwidth of 100 MHz. For a two-month testing license, Vodafone had to pay more than CZK 200,000 to regulator CTU. In 2017, Vodafone and other three operators were successful in the auction for frequencies in the 3.7 GHz band.
Vodafone plans to begin commercial operation of its 5G network as early as the first quarter of 2019. However, at that time there will still be a shortage of devices that support 5G. Only large receivers for home use will be available. The first 5G mobile phones to be sold in Europe should not be expected until the second quarter of 2019. Huawei representatives in Karlovy Vary said it is very likely that the successor to the current Huawei P20 and P20 Pro models, for example, should comply with 5G, and these will arrive in spring 2019. Vodafone wants to cover the busiest centers of large cities where LTE is now insufficient.
Other operators have tested 5G, too: T-Mobile Czech Republic in March this year and O2 Czech Republic in November 2017.