TeliaSonera launches 4G network in Finland

15 January 2011 |

TeliaSonera has launched its first commercial 4G services in Finland following a successful operational trial in Turku that has been running since June of last year.

The move cements its leadership in European LTE deployment.

The network, which operates in the 2.6GHz frequency band, is now available in Turku and a business district north of Helsinki, but TeliaSonera says it will be looking to expand coverage in the capital city soon. The company is also still investing in 3G and hopes to complete nationwide coverage in Finland by the end of 2012.

“The focus in 2011 will still be on 3G,” said Marek Hintze, head of mobility services in Finland for TeliaSonera. “The different generations belong to the same evolution path and they will grow intertwined, with 4G being gradually rolled out across the big cities in Finland. With 4G, we’re now seeing the first ‘early adopters’ trying the service, and a mass uptake is still a couple of years ahead.”

In December 2009, Telia- Sonera became the first operator in the world to launch 4G commercially when it began services in Stockholm and Oslo. Mobile penetration is high across the Nordic countries and Finland is now estimated to have 1.1 million mobile broadband subscriptions, with 40% of all its broadband connections coming from mobile.

According to André Malm, senior analyst at Berg Insight, being the first to offer 4G in Finland should give Telia- Sonera a marketing advantage in the near future. “Relatively high prices for 4G services compared to HSPA and HSPA+ services will limit initial take up. Mobile broadband, however, is largely a consumer service in the Nordic countries in terms of the number of subscribers and data traffic consumed,” said Berg.

Meanwhile, TeliaSonera has also increased its ownership in TeliaSonera Asia, the Dutch holding company that owns 80% of Nepalese operator Ncell and 100% of Cambodian operator Applifone.