Strategy of the Republic of Croatia
Further technology development will significantly affect the quality of internet availability in remote areas, especially in rural areas and islands, as well as in all areas where it is not possible or commercially profitable to physically bring optical infrastructure. Due to Croatia’s geographical features and its shape, high-quality coverage is of exceptional importance for raising the quality of life in these areas.
The introduction of 5G networks is one of the priorities of the National Plan for Broadband Development in the Republic of Croatia in the period from 2021 to 2027. Measures and activities of the National Plan include administrative, promotional and educational activities, cross-sectoral and institutional linkages, participation in the harmonisation of existing and adoption of new legislation and subordinate legislation, with the aim of harmonising with the new strategic goals and initiatives adopted by the European Union in the field of electronic communications and digitisation and ensuring the necessary preconditions and creating an incentive environment for investment. Also, the National Plan is one of the conditions enabling implementation (“enabling condition”), in order to provide funds for co-financing from the European Structural and Investment Funds in the multiannual financial framework of the European Union for the period from 2021 to 2027.
One of the objectives of the EU 5G Action Plan was to identify at least one larger city in each Member State in which 5G signal coverage and commercial provision of services will be achieved by the end of 2020. The Government chose Osijek as the very first Croatian 5G City which does not only meet EU objectives, but also contributes to the development of the eastern part of Croatia.
Following the public auction, on 12 August 2021 HAKOM made decisions on assignment of radio frequency bands at 700 MHz, 3.6 GHz and 26 GHz at national level and 3.6 GHz at regional (county) level.
HAKOM plans to conduct a new public auction procedure for granting rights of use for the 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz and 2600 MHz frequency bands in the period 2022-2023, as the existing licences expire in 2024.
Depending on technological development, the assignment of new radio frequency bands will also be considered.
The National Plan establishes four objectives which, in accordance with the Act on the system of Strategic planning and Development Management of the Republic of Croatia (OG, No. 123/17) are considered to be specific objectives contributing to the further accelerated development of electronic communications networks and services in accordance with the legislative and regulatory framework in the field of electronic communications:
The first specific objective refers to the introduction of very high capacity networks in households in order to enable broadband with speeds of at least 100 Mbit/s towards the user (download), with the possibility of upgrading to speeds up to 1 Gbit/s.
The second specific objective relates to the introduction of very high capacity networks supporting broadband access with symmetrical speeds of at least 1 Gbit/s for public purposes, which includes primary and secondary schools, higher education institutions and institutions in the scientific system, state administration bodies, bodies of local and regional self-government units and health institutions, and transport nodes with a large number of passengers (bus stations, railway stations, airports, passenger ports and river ports).
The third specific objective relates to the introduction of 5G networks, i.e. ensuring 5G network coverage in urban areas and along major land transport routes. Urban areas include local self-government units within four urban agglomerations (Zagreb, Split, Rijeka and Osijek) and local self-government units and parts of local self-government units within larger and smaller urban areas. The main land transport routes relate to highways, national roads and railway lines in Croatia that constitute the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T).
The fourth special objective refers to the introduction of 5G networks, i.e. ensuring the coverage of 5G networks in rural areas, which includes all local self-government units and parts of local self-government units outside urban areas.