In Opensignal's first mobile network experience report in Croatia, HT (Hrvatski Telekom) dominates our awards table, securing four outright wins for Download Speed Experience, Upload Speed Experience, 4G Availability and 4G Coverage Experience. It also jointly wins the remaining three awards. HT shares the Video Experience and Game Experience with A1, while all three operators statistically tie on Voice App Experience and so are joint winners for this award.
5G debuted in Croatia in October 2020, when HT launched its 5G network based on dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS) technology. This technology allows the use of existing 4G bands for 5G technology while the bands continue to be available for use by 4G smartphone users at the same time. HT operator contracted Ericsson in June 2020 as its 5G radio access network (RAN) supplier. Notably, the Swedish company also struck a deal in April 2021 to build the 5G network for A1.
HT claimed to have covered one million inhabitants with its 5G footprint in December 2020. While its 5G deployment is based on DSS technology, the operator started testing 5G signal in the 3.5GHz band in March 2021.
The Croatian Postal & Electronic Communications Agency (HAKOM) is yet to assign 5G-capable spectrum in the 700 MHz, 3.5 GHz and 26 GHz bands to mobile operators. The regulator decided to push back the planned 5G tender from 2020 to June 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which affected operators’ investment plans and caused delays in freeing the 700 MHz band from TV broadcast. HAKOM plans to also include population and transportation coverage obligations for 700 MHz 5G spectrum license holders, to be met in the period of 2025-2027. These timelines are in line with the new National Plan for the Development of Broadband Access, adopted by the Croatian government, that sets objectives for development of fixed and mobile infrastructure in the country between 2021 and 2027.
In this report we have examined the mobile network experience of the three main mobile network operators in Croatia: A1, Telemach (recently rebranded from Tele2) and HT over the period of 90 days between December 1, 2020 and February 28, 2021. 5G measurements contributed to the overall scores.