Prague - Telefonica Czech Republic and T-Mobile have agreed on sharing the LTE infrastructure, and they plan to cover most of the Czech Republic by the end of the year, the mobile operators said in a joint press release today.
The rival operator Vodafone has already criticised the plan as it will have to build the fast mobile network by itself.
Vodafone was not immediately available for comment.
The firms´ plan concerns a radio access network. The firms will use their own network infrastructure and maintain their own business strategy.
The sharing of transmitters will help use the LTE network in the country earlier than set by the LTE auction.
Network sharing is a European trend as shown by successful partnerships in Great Britain, Sweden and France, said Telefonica CR CEO Luis Malvido.
T-Mobile head Milan Vasina said that it is an important strategic step which follows up the agreement on sharing the existing GSM and 3G networks.
Web sharing will be tested in the coming months and commercial operation is scheduled for the second half of the year.
The sharing of the 4G network applies to the entire country except the capital city of Prague and Brno.
Telefonica will be administering the eastern part of the country and T-Mobile will be responsible for the operations in the west of the Czech Republic.
The initial speed will be 75 Mbit/s for data loading and up to 25 Mbit/s for recording.
The three existing mobile operators have been granted the 800, 1,900 and 2,600 MHz LTE frequencies at the CTU regulator´s auction for a total of Kc8.5bn.
Telefonica currently operates the LTE network in central parts of Prague and Brno, planning to cover both cities by the end of the year.
T-Mobile covers part of Prague and Mlada Boleslav. It wants to cover all districts in Prague by October this year. It is building the network in the Plzen district.
Vodafone launched building the LTE network on alternative 900 MHz frequencies used for the GSM network last autumn. It covered a quarter of the country in April, mostly in the countryside.