World’s first LTE 4G network goes live in Scandinavia

14 Dec 2009

TeliaSonera has become the first operator in the world to launch LTE-based 4G mobile services commercially to customers in Stockholm in Sweden and Oslo in Norway.

LTE or Long Term Evolution, is the next generation up from existing 3G mobile broadband services and will allow users to engage in high-definition video conferencing and online gaming experiences.

At first, the 4G services will only be available in Stockholm, Sweden and Oslo, Norway, but TeliaSonera plans to expand to 25 Swedish cities and three more Norwegian ones by the end of 2010, at a cost of roughly US$70 million.

Fast speed

The LTE network promises to operate at speeds up to 10 times faster than existing 3G networks.

“We are very proud to be the first operator in the world to offer our customers 4G services,” said Kenneth Karlberg, president and head of Mobility Services, Telia Sonera.

“The use of mobile broadband in the Nordic countries is exploding and customers need higher speeds and capacity. This is why we launch 4G services in both Stockholm and Oslo,” Karlberg said.

4G/LTE will open up new possibilities for customers to use and enjoy services on their laptops, requiring high transmission speed and capacity, such as advanced web TV broadcasting, extensive online gaming and web conferences.

“Being first out with new technology gives us unique experience that we can use on all our markets. We will continue the rollout to offer our customers new communication services for the future,” Karlberg added.

Tale of two cities

The two pioneering 4G city networks cover the central city areas of Stockholm and Oslo and will be used for mobile data. 4G is the fastest mobile technology available on the market, with speeds up to 10 times higher than today’s turbo 3G.

TeliaSonera has three nationwide 4G/LTE licenses; in Sweden, Norway and also recently in Finland. The network roll out is in progress to offer 4G to Sweden’s and Norway’s largest cities.

The Stockholm 4G city network is supplied by Ericsson. The Oslo 4G city network is supplied by Huawei. The modems at launch come from Samsung. Evaluation of suppliers for TeliaSonera’s common 4G core network and radio networks in the Nordic and Baltic countries is in progress and vendors will be selected in the beginning of 2010.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years