Kosovo’s incumbent telco promises 5G services after massive investments this year

Kosovo’s incumbent telco promises 5G services after massive investments this year
Telecom of Kosovo will start delivering 5G services from mid-2024, starting with the Pristina area. / bne IntelliNews
By bne IntelliNews February 9, 2024

Kosovo’s state telecom operator Telecom of Kosovo, a business unit of Post and Telecom of Kosovo trading as Vala, will start delivering 5G services as of mid-2024, as the company is investing massively to improve its outdated infrastructure, company’s CEO Burbuqe Hana told Telegrafi in an interview.

"We have earmarked €13mn for investments in the coming year and another €12mn in the next three-year period. After a long time without investments in technology we will invest heavily this year,” said Burbuqe.

The lack of investments, platforms and old technology are challenges that Telekom has been facing for more than seven years, but the company is already on a good path "to return as a leader in telecommunications services in the Republic of Kosovo”, Burbuqe said.

She explained that the number of antennas will be increased so that Vala services can be extended to every place in Kosovo.

"For example, Pristina and the region will be covered with 4G+ and 5G technology by the end of June. While for other municipalities, we believe that by the end of 2024 the infrastructure will be extended and quality services will be offered,” she stated.

In addition to the mobile telecom services, the investments will target broadband internet services with plans to expand the fibre optic network.

The company posted profits in 2023 for the first time since 2015, after the company designed a recovery strategy in 2022 and contracted a loan to finance it.

Last February, the Regulatory Authority for Post and Electronic Communications (ARKEP) awarded Telecom of Kosovo and IPKO two 5G licenses. In December, Telecom of Kosovo signed a deal with Ericsson Nikola Tesla, a Croatian subsidiary of Ericsson, to modernise the operator's mobile network, including 5G broadband.