Group Countries Ready for Vacation Time
A reliable and secure infrastructure is of greater importance today than ever before. In recent years, forward-looking investments in future-proof networks have made it possible to reliably handle an unprecedented increase in data and voice traffic. The A1 Group invests several hundreds of millions of euros per year in its networks. This is a solid basis for the Group to continue to offer its customers the best products and services and to optimally meet an increasing demand for data, more bandwidth and low latency. Meanwhile, the Group is looking at comprehensive network coverage in terms of 4G/5G and has also paid special attention to tourist areas - especially since all Group countries have tourist regions with the population living from tourism. So, the markets are ready for the upcoming vacation season not only with an expected increase in data traffic but also being prepared for this increase.
“The high-performance and future-proof fixed-network and mobile communications networks of the A1 Group are part of the system-critical infrastructure. Together with the product and service portfolio based on them, they guarantee digital communication, continuity and interaction for companies and their employees, the public as well as in the private sector. This goes hand in hand with own high standards of stability, reliability and trustworthiness. Accordingly, it is our responsibility to set up the networks as securely as possible and roll them out widely”, says Thomas Arnoldner, CEO A1 Group.
“Only with an excellent network quality, which also requires corresponding expansion areas and plans, we are a relevant player in the CEE region and offer our customers appropriate services and products. Only with joint efforts it is possible to achieve such excellent numbers”, says Alejandro Plater, COO A1 Group. “We are convergent in virtually all markets or at least convergent-ready with comprehensive offerings ranging from fixed line, broadband, mobile broadband solutions, IP TV, ICT and data center solutions. And with our majority owner América Móvil, we as A1 Group can count on the strength of one of the world's largest telecommunications providers“.
In Austria, well-known tourist regions such as Wörthersee, Salzkammergut, Attersee, Gasteinertal, Arlberg or Kitzbühel also show excellent figures regarding 4G/5G network coverage. The city of Vienna shows a coverage of almost 100 % regarding 5G and already 5.000 A1 towers across the country enable 5G technology. On average, there are numbers between 97.02 % and 100 % population coverage (percentage of the population with access to 4G or 5G network coverage), depending on the topographical location.
In Bulgaria, the A1 4G network covers over 99,4 % of the country’s population. A1 Bulgaria continues to develop its 5G network which as of 2022 covers the majority of settlements with population 3,000 or more. The company offers 5G gigabit speeds in all of the major sea and winter resorts, and tourist sites in the country, including Albena, Golden Sands, Nesebar, Primorsko, Sozopol, Sunny Beach, Kiten, Velingrad, Bansko, Borovets, Pamporovo, etc. A1 Bulgaria operates a fiber network that covers 78 big cities and 137 smaller towns which provides gigabit capable access to over 1.706.654 households.
Users of A1 services, as well as roaming visitors, can carefree enjoy the mobile network, which is among the best in Europe, all year round, and especially in the summer months. This was confirmed by a recent independent measurement provided by the Croatian telco regulator HAKOM. Tourist centers on the coast are already covered by LTE and 5G networks, and for the summer season, as every year, A1 Croatia is carefully planning the modernization and additional capacities. In planning and execution, A1 engineers apply advanced functionalities of the latest generation of mobile networks for an even better user experience. 99 % of the population is covered with the LTE network, and 85 % of the population will be covered by the 5G network by the end of the year.
Visitor traffic in roaming has been growing exponentially since the introduction of the EU roaming regulation. Users really surf and talk like they do at home, use OTT applications for video calls or watch video content on popular services with movies and series. How much A1 Croatia invests in order to support all of this is perhaps best illustrated by the fact that in 2022, compared to the year before the EU roaming regulation (2016), the data traffic of roaming visitors increased by 28,000 %, and conversations by 245 %.
A1 provides mobile communications services of the GSM 900/1800, UMTS 900/2100 (WCDMA/HSDPA/HSUPA/HSPA+) standards and 4G in the 800/1800/2600 MHz ranges (LTE, in the beCloud infrastructure operator's network) in the territory of Belarus. As of June 30, 2022, the company's mobile services were used by 4.889 million subscribers. Clients have access to a full range of basic services, as well as additional services. HD voice calls and high speed internet are available in the territory where 99 % of the country's population lives including all major touristic areas.
As a company dedicated to the development and implementation of the state-of-the-art technologies, A1 Serbia is continuously investing in its infrastructure quality and development. Thanks to this, foreign visitors will join 2.5 million A1 users in having HD voice calls and high-speed internet this summer. A1 network covers over 97-100 % of the territory of tourist centers, such as Zlatibor, Kopaonik, Tara, Vrnjačka banja and Fruška gora. 4G population coverage at country level is 99 %.
In addition to the construction of more than 300 km of own fiber network, A1 Serbia recently became the owner of more than 850 km of telecommunication pipes for fiber cable laying. In this manner, A1 owns a considerable infrastructure for interconnection between its own network elements, international interconnection with other members of A1 Group and other operators.
A1 Serbia is fully prepared for the implementation of 5G technology and supports the positive trend of the increase in the number of users, being the network with the biggest number of new users in Serbia for two years in a row, according to RATEL (Regulatory Authority for Electronic Communications and Postal Services).
Roaming customers in Slovenia can enjoy the largest 5G coverage with A1 Slovenia. Network offers 5G services to 73 % of the population, in addition 99,9% is covered with 4G/LTE. Visitors can enjoy the fastest mobile network in the top 10 touristic areas such as Bled, Bohinj, Kranjska Gora, Portorož, Ljubljana, Maribor. Until end of 2025, A1 Slovenia is committed to offer 5G service covering 99 % population.
Through its own state-of-the-art network, A1 Macedonia provides its customers complete coverage with 4G/LTE mobile data all over the country and 4G+ in urban areas and coverage ratio of 99.8 % of the total population. A1 customers, as well as roaming visitors, enjoy the mobile network that provides fastest mobile internet which is confirmed by the independent regulatory – the Agency of Electronic Communications.
In the end of 2022, A1 started building its 5G network and accomplishing coverage of 56,6 % of the total population.
Tourist centers, such as Ohrid Lake, are covered by LTE network and A1 Macedonia will continue investing in its modernization.
Expansion to be continued
Whether it´s the sea or Alpine regions: each network roll-out has its specific challenges. Nevertheless, A1 Group will continue its efforts to expand its 5G presence. Properties such as low latency and high data transmission rates are not only the indispensable prerequisite for the mobility concepts of the future through real-time communication. They are also an essential key element of the Internet of Things (IoT), enabling the connection of numerous devices, sensors, etc. This, in turn, forms the basis for innovative solutions for companies and organizations in areas such as smart manufacturing, logistics, cities, agriculture, healthcare and automation in general. It´s these associated efficiency gains that make digital life become a reality.