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Tus Mobil GSM, GPRS, Edge Network, Slovenia




Key Data


Tus Mobil is a new mobile operator for Slovenia. The new company, which is part of the Engrotus retail group, gained its mobile licence when US-based Western Wireless International (Vega) shut down its network at the end of May 2006 after failing to gain a significant foothold in the almost saturated market.

Slovenia only has a population of just over two million and so this is always going to be a difficult market to sell mobile telecoms services.

In November 2006 Mirko Tus, the owner of Engrotus, bought the Slovenian alternative telco Voljatel, which offers ADSL internet access, VoIP telephony and MVNO services, for €20–25m.

"Tus Mobil gained its mobile licence when US-based Western Wireless International (Vega) shut down its network at the end of May 2006."

The purchase was said to be in a personal capacity, not involving Engrotus or its mobile telecoms subsidiary Tus Mobil. Voljatel launched a mobile service in 2006 with its Izimobil prepaid brand.

The Tus Mobil network is due to be launched in May 2007 using a GSM/EDGE core. The initial network coverage will centre on the centres of population but to give the network a fighting chance Tus Mobil have arranged services for their subscribers over Mobitel’s GSM network, under the Izimobil brand.

Mobiltel is the market leading mobile telecoms operator in Slovenia.

WESTERN WIRELESS

Western Wireless International Slovenia ceased operations on 1 June 2006 after giving up a five-year struggle to gain a foothold in the Slovenian mobile market. The network shutdown followed the sale of companies GSM infrastructure assets to the country’s remaining mobile operators, Mobitel and Si.Mobil, for a total of €5m in April.

Since the network shut down over 30,000 previous subscribers have been switching to other services, while around 120 Vega employees have been made redundant. Vega commented that it "saw no prospects in terms of changes on the Slovenian electronic communications market that would justify additional investment". After selling its network, Vega offloaded its licence to Tus Mobil.

CONTRACT TO BUILD THE NETWORK

In March 2007 Tus Mobil selected Nokia as its global system for mobile (GSM)/ enhanced data rates for global evolution (EDGE) core and radio network supplier. Nokia will also operate the Tus Mobil network allowing the operator to focus its management activities on building the Tus Mobil image, mobile services creation, and customer acquisition.

Nokia will also be able to supply Tus Mobil with cost-effective and flexible GSM/EDGE radio and core network infrastructure, including Nokia Flexi EDGE Base Station, Nokia Ultrasite EDGE Base Station, Nokia MSC Server mobile softswitch, Nokia Flexi Intelligent Service Node (ISN), Nokia Serving GPRS Support Node (SGSN), and a transport network.

"Having Nokia operate the network will allow us to focus on customers by offering them the best mobile services in Slovenia."

Delivery of the infrastructure has already begun, ahead of a planned commercial network launch in May 2007. Nokia says with its support, Tus Mobil will be able to enter the Slovenian mobile market and offer a competitive range of services right from the network launch.

Mirko Tus, Chief Executive of Tus Mobil, said: "Tus Mobil is in an exciting but challenging position in the competitive Slovenian mobile market. We needed a vendor that has a credible track record in network infrastructure solutions and services. Having Nokia operate the network will allow us to focus on customers by offering them the best mobile services in Slovenia."

Filip Rommelaere, General Manger of Nokia in the Balkans, said: "The co-operation with Tus Mobil marks a new customer for Nokia. With Nokia’s network equipment and services, Tus Mobil will be better positioned to win business in the Slovenian market while ensuring low operating expenditure."

TUS MOBIL LAUNCHES HOSTING SERVICE; ISP

In January 2007 Tus Mobile introduced its first service, internet server hosting, and now plans to launch internet access and mobile telephony services over its own network in the first half of 2007. The company believes that the market for server hosting is underserved in Slovenia and that demand has already exceeded expectations.

Tus Mobil is now trying to achieve what it calls ‘good’ mobile network coverage before it launches commercial services, and will achieve national coverage by roaming over the Mobitel GSM network.

Tus Mobil, along with its affiliates, will be the first company on the market to offer the Quadruple Play package, which combines internet, digital television, and both stationary and mobile telephone services.