Thursday, 27 May 2021

Public Auction for 5G Frequencies Starts, HRK 300m in Revenue Expected

ZAGREB, 27 May 2021 - The Croatian Regulatory Authority for Network Industries (HAKOM) has launched a public auction for 5G frequencies, applications can be submitted from today until 11 June, it is expected that licenses will be allocated by the end of August, and revenue is expected to be at least HRK 300 million.

The HAKOM Council decided this at its meeting on Thursday, and Chairman Tonko Obuljen told Hina that they expected great interest from operators for this public auction.

"We believe that the positive effects of 5G technology on economic growth will be shown very soon," he said.

The three biggest operators in Croatia -- Hrvatski Telekom (HT), A1 Hrvatska, and Telemach Hrvatska -- have already announced interest, as have some others.

Licenses that will be issued to operators will be for a period of 15 years, except in the case of Međimurje and Varaždin counties, where there are already licenses issued for different 5G technologies valid until 2023, so new licenses there will be issued for a period of 13 years.

When a license expires, it will be possible to extend it for a maximum of five years, which has also been regulated at the EU level, HAKOM said.

Frequency bands will be allocated at the national level but also partly at a regional level in order to create business opportunities for smaller, regional operators and to encourage diversity of services, and provide end-users with a choice.

For more, follow our dedicated business section.

Thursday, 29 October 2020

HT Rolls Out 5G Network in Croatia

ZAGREB, October 29, 2020 - Hrvatski Telekom (HT) on Thursday rolled out a 5G network in Croatia, the first company to do so, initially covering Zagreb, Rijeka, Split, Osijek, Samobor and Sveta Nedelja.

With 5G, HT is building a network of the future that will enable the connectivity and automation of a large number of sensors, industrial devices, autonomous vehicles, drones, as well as further advances in telemedicine, the company said in a press release.

CEO Kostas Nebis said that the commercial start of the 5G network was a milestone for the company and for the entire telecommunications industry in the country, because the 5G network would open up opportunities for innovations that would boost economic and social development.

The rollout of the 5G network is a continuation of activities on the construction of the network of the future which HT began to implement and test in March 2019.

Monday, 19 October 2020

Croatia and 14 More EU Members Seek Strategy Against Disinformation About 5G

ZAGREB, October 19, 2020 - A group of 15 European Union member states have signed a joint letter to three European commissioners in which they suggest that the EU should prepare a strategy to counter disinformation about G5 tehcnology, Reuters reported on Monday.

Croatia is one of those 15 signatories.

"The European Union needs to come up with a strategy to counter disinformation about 5G technology or risk false claims derailing its economic recovery and digital goals," the news agency stated.

"Conspiracy theories that the novel coronavirus may be linked to the wireless technology have led to the torching of mobile phone masts in 10 European countries and assaults on maintenance workers in recent months," Reuters noted.

The 15 countries listed their concerns and proposals in the joint letter "to EU digital chief Margrethe Vestager, internal market commissioner Thierry Breton and values chief Vera Jourova that was seen by Reuters."

"We, as Member States are willing to contribute to this EU-wide initiative with our national expertise and best practice to tackle the issue of 5G and EMF disinformation," the letter said.

The 15 signatories to the letter are Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia and Sweden.

Saturday, 6 June 2020

Hvar Suspends Introduction Of 5G Technology, Regulator Says It's Not O.K.

ZAGREB, June 6, 2020 - The Town of Hvar on the southern Adriatic island of the same name has suspended the introduction of 5G technology until an independent and impartial study proves that such technology has no negative impact on humans and the environment, the Town Council decided unanimously earlier this week.

The decision will be submitted to the government and the Croatian Regulatory Authority for Network Industries (HAKOM), which is required to distribute it to all relevant stakeholders operating in the Town of Hvar, the local authorities said on 4 June.

However, in the meantime, the HAKOM regulator has stated that it has not yet received the decision in writing and therefore it cannot comment on its contents of the decision.

Nevertheless, the regulator underscores that any restriction of the development of electronic communication infrastructure for public services is not in compliance with the regulations.

Based on this decision, the Town Council will set up a task force to look over the next six months into a possible causal link between all sources of radiation and cancer.

The decision was put on the Town Council agenda on the initiative of an informal group of citizens following the information that Hvar was included among 13 towns and one island for which HAKOM has issued temporary licenses to test the 5G network.

The decision made by the Town of Hvar took into account the results of a survey conducted by the World Health Organization, the fact that the environment minister for the Brussels-Capital region, Celine Fremault, blocked a 5G rollout in the region until it was shown how this technology affected human health and the environment, the European Parliament resolution on health concerns associated with electromagnetic fields, the Environmental Health Action Plan for Europe, and the Council of Europe resolution on the potential dangers of electromagnetic fields and their effect on the environment. 

On the other hand, HAKOM warns that there are more and more "conspiracy theories" concerning this issue.

HAKOM recalls that it has requested opinions of researchers and experts from relevant institutions on the 5G technology's impact on the environment and the public health and in brief, the conclusions drawn from those opinions are that the impact of this state-of-the-art technology is similar as the impact of previous technologies.