WARSAW (Reuters) – Poland’s Cyfrowy Polsat said on Friday its Polkomtel unit had begun the roll-out of commercial 5G technology and aimed to start serving seven cities in the first quarter.
“We have finished preparations and we are beginning the construction of the first 5G network in Poland,” Cyfrowy Polsat CEO Miroslaw Blaszczyk said in a statement.
“These will no longer be tests or trials – they will be commercial services available.”
The network, on the 2600 MHz TDD frequency, will be rolled out using technology from Nokia and Ericsson, Cyfrowy Polsat said.
5G is expected to offer data speeds up to 50 or 100 times faster than current 4G networks and help expand connectivity.
But its roll-out has been controversial as the United States presses allies not to use equipment from Chinese telecoms firm Huawei citing concerns Beijing could use the equipment for spying.
Huawei has repeatedly denied the allegations, and industry players have warned that excluding Huawei could slow down the implementation of 5G and make it more expensive.
Huawei was hired to create Polkomtel’s billing system, but the contract was canceled last year after delays to the system’s roll-out.
Polkomtel trades under the brand name Plus and competes with Orange Polska, Play Communications and T-Mobile in Poland.
(Reporting by Anna Koper and Alan Charlish; editing by Jason Neely)