ONE Albania, the entity formed by the merger of ONETelecommunications and ALBtelecom, is gearing up to ensure that it is ready to introduce 5G in the second half of 2023, once the government completes the auction of the necessary spectrum. In a statement from the telco, Executive Director Emil Georgakiev said ONE Albania’s network is ready for 5G and ‘will only require a small upgrade’ to start offering 5G services. To that end, it has already started working with its vendor partner Ericsson to prepare for the launch of the new technology. The official highlighted a number of issues that could potentially delay the introduction of 5G, including spectrum pricing and complications relating to 5G development permits. Finally, the high price of compatible equipment for end-users could also prove to be a barrier to take up, regardless of network availability. To address this last issue, the official noted that the company is working to use the purchasing power of parent company 4iG group to reduce prices for the Albanian market.

Separately, the company is also aiming to extend its fibre network to 75% of households over the next five years. For residents in remote communities where the deployment of fibre infrastructure is not commercially viable, the official suggested that broadband services could instead be provided by 5G.

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