In common with a number of Eastern European countries, Estonia has been at the forefront of fibre broadband and LTE mobile network developments. The country’s Estonian operators have been able to deploy LTE more cost-effectively in rural areas since Russia in mid-2011 made available to mobile players the 790-862MHz band that had previously been used by military air controllers.
Since them EMT has been among the more aggressive players. The operator launched LTE-based services in late 2010, initially in Tallinn, Tartu and Kohila, and since then it has deployed a number of LTE-capable base stations now providing covering to almost 70% of the population. National coverage is expected to be reached by the end of 2014. Average download speeds over the network, as computed by the regulator, are 40Mb/s, with a maximum speed at 70Mb/s.
EMT has also deployed hundreds of new 3.5G base stations and upgraded many others. For consumers, these upgrades are enabling them to make far greater use of mobile data services, and this in turn is translating into new revenue for EMT. More than 50% of new mobile subscribers took up services which connect through the operators’ LTE network, compared to between 10% and 15% of new subscribers a year earlier.
Tele2 and Elisa have meanwhile adopted a less aggressive LTE rollout schedule, initially relying on customer satisfaction with their existing HSPA capabilities. Nevertheless, both have launched commercial LTE services, and are obliged by their licence terms to provide 700 LTE base stations by 2016.
For more information, see the report Estonia – Mobile Market Insights Statistics and Forecasts
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