Plus starts rolling out a commercial 5G network

03 Jan 2020

Polkomtel, the operator of Plus network and a Cyfrowy Polsat Group company, is starting the roll-out of the first in Poland commercial 5G network which will operate using the spectrum from 2600 MHz band based on TDD transmission technique. In Q1 2020 the new technology will become available to customers in at least 7 cities around Poland.

5G is the response to the evolving needs of our customers and the environment in which we live. The new digital world will require even faster and more reliable as well as stable transfer of increasing volumes of data.

The tests conducted during 2019, and ended in December, were the final step en route to Plus’s preparations for the roll out and launch of the first in Poland  commercial 5G network. The roll out of the 5G network, which will exploit the 2600 MHz frequency band using TDD, has already started.

”We always repeat that we prefer to act and speak about the things that we are specifically doing, rather than only talk about plans or intentions. Today we have a concrete piece of information for the Poles – we have completed the preparation and we are commencing the roll out of the first in Poland 5G network. It is no longer only tests or trials – we will see services which will be commercially available – just like all other services from our offer,” says Mirosław Błaszczyk, the CEO of Cyfrowy Polsat S.A. and Polkomtel Sp. z o.o., the operator of Plus mobile network.

Cyfrowy Polsat Group’s 5G network will at the beginning be rolled out in Warsaw, Gdańsk, Katowice, Łódź, Poznań, Szczecin and Wrocław. For the needs of the newly rolled out network the Group has allocated spectrum resources from the 2600 MHz TDD band, offering the possibility of achieving data transfer rates in excess of 500 Mbps while using MIMO 4x4 and QAM256 technologies.

We are deliberately starting network roll out not only in on place but in several locations across Poland simultaneously. Thanks to this the inhabitants of these 7 cities will be able to enjoy the advantages of this first in Poland commercial 5G network,” says Justyna Kulka, a member of the Management Board of Polkomtel Sp. z o.o., the operator of Plus network.

The key element of the 5G network that is being rolled out is the use of the TDD (Time Division Duplex) technology whose sole implementation in Poland has so far been carried out by Cyfrowy Polsat Group in the 2600 MHz (2570-2620 MHz) frequency band. TDD enables data transmission relying on one, joint chunk of spectrum for alternating in time downlink/uplink transmission.

”The way TDD operates could be compared to the traffic on a modern motorway – instead forcing cars to queue at the toll gates, on Friday afternoon we open four lanes of the motorway, e.g. from Łódź to Gdańsk, while on Sunday we open four lanes in the opposite direction. On an ordinary motorway, in turn, when there is traffic jam in one direction, the traffic in the opposite direction is usually minimal and nothing can be done about it – this is how the FDD (Frequency Division Duplex) technology operates. Cyfrowy Polsat is the only operator on the Polish market to have employed the TDD technology in both, LTE and 5G,” adds Justyna Kulka, a member of the Management Board of Polkomtel Sp. z o.o., the operator of Plus network.

The solution which has been employed for 5G network roll out by Cyfrowy Polsat Group is the latest technology which has been implemented around world only recently. Use of the 2600 MHz frequency band for this purpose is known from the commercial 5G networks which already operate in the USA and China. Cyfrowy Polsat Group has been the first in Poland to have started 5G network roll-out based on this technology.

The plan for Q1 2020 is to have 5G launched at around 100 base station locations. The base stations will be equipped with state-of-the-art 5G network equipment from Nokia and Ericsson.

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Last updated 01/03/2020