Telenor Bulgaria launches 5G network in more than 60 locations

Previously, Telenor Bulgaria had only conducted 5G trials

On Thursday, Telenor Bulgaria officially launched its 5G network in more than 60 locations across the country, living up to its previous promise of getting the network up in June.

The capital city of Sofia is one of the first locations to receive the new 5G services, as well as cities of Burgas and Varna and several other big cities and seaside resorts. Rapid expansion is expected and the company said it plans to the leader in 5G coverage in Bulgaria by mid-2022.

Prior to the Bulgarian 5G spectrum auction, which concluded in April 2021, Telenor Bulgaria had only conducted 5G trials, while competitors Vivacom and A1 launched 5G services with temporary frequencies.

The April auction concerned the 3.6 GHz band raised $8.1 million and saw Vivacom awarded the 3.7–3.8 GHz band for 4.6 million levs, A1 granted the 3.6–3.7 GHz band for 4.7 million levs and Telenor Bulgaria walked away with a license for the radio frequency band 3.5–3.6 GHz for 4.1 million levs.

That same month, Telenor Bulgaria launched an information and training campaign focused 5G, hoping to provide a detailed account of 5G’s benefits to end-users and answer their questions about the technology. The campaign included the Knowledge Hub on the company’s website where the up-to-date material like articles, video presentations and expert opinions will be published. The operator is also allowing users to ask 5G-related questions via email or the company’s official social media accounts.

Bulgaria’s 5G rollout will likely not include Huawei and ZTE, as the Prime Minister in October 2020 sided with the U.S., signing a framework agreement with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to exclude the Chinese vendors from its future networks.

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