03 July 2018
| Alan Burkitt-Gray
A subsidiary of Bulgarian natural gas company Overgas is to build a wireless network which will offer wholesale capacity to other operators.
Vestitel already provides wholesale
telecoms services through its network, using fibre running in
ducts alongside its gas pipelines, but it plans to add the
wireless service from the beginning of 2019.
"We are already testing the base stations and the network
services," Vestitel CEO Valentin Velichkov told
Capacity. The network is primarily designed for
machine-to-machine (M2M) applications, he added.
Overgas will use the M2M network to connect its gas meters,
said Velichkov, speaking to Capacity at the Capacity
Europe East event in Sofia. "The service will cover the entire
network. This is a completely new market in Bulgaria." The
network uses LoRa – long range, low-power wireless
technology, he added.
The company will offer the service on a wholesale basis "to any
other operators", said Velichkov. Vestitel is talking to
equipment and software vendors about developing applications to
run on the system.
Meanwhile Vestitel’s fibre network extends across
the whole of Bulgaria and through Greece to Thessaloniki and
Within Bulgaria, the network has two rings covering Sofia,
Plovdiv, Varna, Burgas, Stara Zagora, Russe, Pleven, Veliko
Tarnovo, Sliven, Blagoevgrad, Kjustendil, Pernik, Kulata,
Botevgrad, Dobrich, Petrich, Zlatarevo and Gueshevo.
"We have a lot of business between Bulgaria and Greece but we
are also developing the network towards the borders of
Macedonia, Albania and Kosovo," as well as north to Romania,
"and we want to strengthen the connection to the Turkish
border", he added. "In Macedonia we would like to develop our
Macedonia, an independent republic formed in the break-up of
the former Yugoslavia, is likely to be renamed the Republic of
North Macedonia following an agreement last month to settle a
long-standing naming dispute with Greece.