TDC looks set to be first out of the 5G traps in Denmark.
Giving some notice to customers, and no doubt having a dig at rivals in the process, TDC said its 5G network will be open for business on September 7.
Population coverage starts at 80%. The aim is to crank that up to 90% by the end of the year.
Ericsson is TDC's 5G supplier of choice. Helped by a capex budget of around 2.6 billion Danish krone (US$412 million) for 2020, allocated to both 5G and fiber, TDC is swapping out Huawei 5G kit with Ericsson equipment.
Andreas Pfisterer, CEO of TDC Net, TDC's infrastructure division, said commercial launch of 5G was important at a time when mobile data usage is climbing by 40% per year.
A 4G upgrade coincides with the upcoming 5G launch. No details were provided on how far the upgrade will translate into improving key performance indicators, other than to say that 4G customers will experience "significantly faster" download and uplink speeds.
Rivals in TDC's 5G slipstream
A few days prior to TDC's 5G announcement, 3 Denmark said it will launch its 5G in "selected locations" before the end of the year.
The operator will initially run the next-gen tech on 700MHz and 1800MHz frequency bands. It has its eyes – as must TDC – on an upcoming auction of 3.5GHz license concessions.
The two companies are pooling network resources and are aiming to start a network modernization program in April 2021, which involves phasing out 3G.
At the time of the announcement, in March, Henrik Kofod, technology director at Telia, talked about introducing 5G "within the next few years."
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— Ken Wieland, contributing editor, special to Light Reading