In our second report on the mobile network experience in Croatia we observed a fierce competition in our award table between A1 and HT. These operators jointly won three awards (Games Experience, Download Speed Experience, Upload Speed Experience), while also sharing the Voice App Experience award with Telemach . A1 increased its award count from three joint victories in our last report to one outright and four shared wins this time. It broke out of the statistical tie against HT for the Video Experience award and forced two statistical ties against the same operator in our speed categories.
With the changes in the Download Speed Experience and Upload Speed Experience awards, the number of HT’s outright wins decreased from four to two. The operator retained its two outright wins for 4G Availability and 4G Coverage Experience. However, with A1 solely claiming the Video Experience award, HT lost its distinction of being a winner (either sole or joint) in every category, which it achieved in our last report.
5G is set to transform the mobile experience in Croatia as we have seen in other countries but the 5G experience is strongest if there is new wireless spectrum available. In the last six months, one of the major highlights in the mobile market was the 5G multiband spectrum auction, which finished in August 2021. The tender raised a total of HRK 359 million ($56.1 million). A1, HT and Telemach each purchased 20 MHz in the 700 MHz band. In other bands, HT obtained larger blocks of spectrum than its competitors, securing a block of 120 MHz in the 3.5 GHz band, while A1 and Telemach acquired 100 MHz each. Also, HT bought 400 MHz in the mmWave 26 GHz band — a block twice as big as the ones purchased by A1, Telemach and an Italian fixed-wireless operator EOLO. Regional 3.5 GHz licenses went to EOLO, Eco Net, Terrakom, BeeIN, Digicom and Markoja.
Following the 5G spectrum tender, A1 launched 5G in August 2021, as the second operator in Croatia after HT. The operator launched in 20 regional centers and in the capital city of Zagreb — and plans to cover 90% of the Croatian population by 2027, in a co-operation with Ericsson. HT, the 5G pioneer in the Croatian market, claims to have covered two million Croatians with its network of 600 5G base stations.
Our results in this report are based on measurements collected across the three main mobile operators in Croatia – A1, HT and Telemach – over the period of 90 days between June 1, 2021 and August 29, 2021, to see how they fared. 5G measurements contributed to the overall scores.