ZAGREB, October 25, 2020 – The two biggest telecommunications companies in Croatia — HT and A1, continue to invest in optical or fibre-optic networks, which they and the Croatian Regulatory Authority for Network Industries (HAKOM) say are a prerequisite for a country’s digitisation and the recovery from the corona crisis.
Fibre-optic or optical network infrastructure, also called broadband network, enables ultra-high-speed Internet access and data transmission over long distances, as well as higher signal quality compared to copper cables.
Those networks employ light and optical fibres to deliver the communication signal from the operator to the user’s house or company, and this technology is called FTTH, or Fiber to the Home.
More than HRK 437 million invested in three years
In recent years, those networks have also been increasingly built in Croatia, especially in bigger citiies, and according to HAKOM data, in three years, from 2017 to the end of 2019, HRK 437.2 million was directly invested in them, of which slightly over HRK 188 million was invested in 2019 alone.
Investment in fibre-optic infrastructure continues this year, as well, and according to HAKOM about HRK 81 million was invested in the first six months. According to operators and public institutions’ announcements, investment is expected to continue by the end of this year and in the next few years. The HT and A1 Croatia telecommunications companies remain the biggest investors.
HT: Focus on NGA networks to expand area of application of optical network
Croatia’s biggest telecom, HT, recalled that over the past five years it had invested over HRK 8.5 billion in infrastructure, of which HRK 1.9 billion had been invested in 2019 alone, which they said was the highest amount in the last ten years.
By the end of the first half of this year, we covered 299,000 household with the FTTH technology, and our optical based access network (FTTx) is available to a total of 455,000 households, the HT company told HINA.
A1 Croatia: Optics backbone of high-quality fixed Internet
The second biggest telecom in Croatia, A1 Croatia, also told Hina that it continued investing in optic infrastructure.
The A1 company has covered over 550,000 households with the most modern fixed infrastructure, and for the first time in Croatia, Internet access speed of up to 1 Gbps has been enabled through optical access for nearly 100,000 households.
“In addition to that, we continue to invest ourselves in Croatia’s digitisation with the aim to cover more than 700,000 households with next generation fixed networks by the end of 2023, which also depends on creating a positive investment climate and on cooperation with the state on planning the allocation of development funds,” A1 Croatia said.
HAKOM: About 772,000 user units to be covered with optics by end of 2023
“In the period by the end of 2023, which includes projects co-finances by EU funds for the development of infrastructure in commercially unprofitable areas, it has been planned to cover about 772,000 user units (private, business and public with fibre-optic high-speed networks,” HAKOM said.
It added that the access speed currently available to most citizens through optic infrastructure ranged from 50 to 200 Mbit/s, and that users could request higher access speed from their operators because the infrastructure supported that.