Information current as of 18 February 2019

What is the state of 5G deployment in Croatia?

The Croatian Regulatory Authority for Network Industries (HAKOM) formed a working group in 2017, entrusted to identify the main challenges for the introduction of 5G in Croatia. The working group is expected to propose a Croatian Action Plan in accordance with the plan and initiative of the European Commission, which should aim to meet the requirements for the introduction of 5G technology by the end of 2019. The complete range of functionality is expected to be achieved in the period between 2025 and 2030.

Which telcos and communications players are launching 5G services?

Three companies are launching 5G: Hrvatski Telekom, A1 Hrvatska and Tele2.

Based on publicly available information, HT is the first telecom in Croatia that achieved 5G functionality in real infrastructure conditions and thus made an important step towards making 5G networks available in Croatia. Further, HT anticipates commercial implementation of 5G networks around 2020, when users will have at their disposal value-added performance compared with the 4G network.

HAKOM also issued a temporary licence to A1 to use the radio frequency spectrum in the 3500 MHz band, which helped A1 to perform the testing of new technologies prior to introduction of the 5G network.

Are there any public tenders for spectrum licenses?


What are the conditions?

HAKOM has issued a public invitation for the allocation of spectrum in the radio frequency band 2500-2690 MHz in order to improve 4G, but also to prepare for 5G. The deadline for submitting the application was 24 February 2019. Details are available here. The time period for allocating the radio frequency spectrum is from 1 May 2019 until 18 October 2024. As well as domestic telcos, all legal or natural persons from the EU can respond to the public invitation. The application needs to include data on: the applicant and its officers a recent court excerpt; the amount of spectrum; the type and description of the public network mobile electronic communication activities it intends to operate; confirmation of the competent body certifying that it has met the obligation to pay outstanding tax liabilities; a bank guarantee in the amount of HRK 1M; and a statement of the applicant guaranteeing to provide adequate technical, technological, spatial and personnel requirements. The application must be submitted in Croatian language.

What has the government said regarding spectrum licences for commercial use?

The government is taking a positive position towards 5G spectrum licences for commercial use and has emphasised the associated opportunities for citizens, the economy, industry and science.

Are the rules for 5G already drafted, and if so, what do they say?

The Croatian Law on Electronic Communications prescribes rules regarding the high-speed electronic communications network. However, we are not aware of any specific rules drafted for 5G services. These are likely to be established soon.

What are or would be the rules for granting competitors access to the new 5G networks, once they are deployed?

In our opinion, network operators would have to grant third party operators of electronic communications networks access to their physical infrastructure to the extent that the joint use is economically reasonable and technically feasible (open access obligations). Network operators that grant open access to third parties shall be paid appropriate monetary compensation.