Finnish operator selects Huawei for LTE upgrade

Finnish operator Ukkoverkot has selected Huawei for the deployment of what the Chinese vendor claims to be the world’s first commercial LTE 450MHz network.

Huawei will deploy an end-to-end network solution for Ukkoverkot, including base stations and devices, in a bid to ensure a smooth migration from Ukkoverkot’s existing CDMA operations to the LTE network.

“Deploying disruptive technology like LTE 450MHz is a good technology strategy. It gives us high capacity and new value for the 450MHz band in mobile data use,” said Antti Pellinen, CEO at Ukkoverkot. “In addition, the coverage properties are truly impressive, with countrywide network across the whole of Finland [approximately 340,000 km²] successfully achieved with only few hundred sites."

Ukkoverkot aims to deliver nationwide coverage of LTE 450MHz by the year end, which is expected to offer the fastest LTE speeds in Finland.

Huawei is a strategic partner of Ukkoverkot and has a scheme in place for network infrastructure reuse to help reduce development investment.

Zou Yong, VP of Huawei LTE Wireless Network, said that the agreement shows Huawei’s continued contribution to the industry development of LTE 450MHz standards.

“The partnership with Ukkoverkot to deploy LTE 450MHz is another important step, and we look forward to co-operating with many more operators to deploy LTE 450MHz commercial networks, bringing universal broadband to more people and ubiquitous connection for M2M or things to things,” Yong added.

Rival Finnish operator Elisa claimed to be the first to launch LTE services in the country in January this year. Later in April, DNA partnered with Ericsson for its LTE roll-out, which it expects to cover 80% of the Finnish population by the end of 2014.