Optical/IP Networks

TeliaSonera First to Go Live With LTE

Telia Company turned on its Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks in Norway and Sweden today and staked its claim on being the world's first operator to launch LTE services commercially to consumers.

Consumers will be able to buy LTE modems, supplied by Samsung Corp. , and pay for services on TeliaSonera's new LTE city networks in Oslo and Stockholm, although there is a limited number of devices available. Details of the service offering will be released at a press conference in Stockholm today. (See TeliaSonera to Use Samsung LTE, Ericsson, Samsung Make LTE Connection, and Sweden Claims LTE First.)

The LTE networks cover the central areas of the Norwegian and Swedish capitals -- that is, around 150,000 people in Oslo and about 300,000 people in Stockholm.

Users can expect to experience data network speeds of between 20Mbit/s and 80Mbit/s, the TeliaSonera spokesman tells Unstrung.

The first modems TeliaSonera has to offer support only LTE and not GMS or HSPA, which means roaming and handover among 2G, 3G, and the LTE networks is not supported. Modems that can handle 2G, 3G, as well as LTE will be available in the second quarter of 2010.

LTE phones are not TeliaSonera's "main target" now in terms of future device offerings, according to the spokesman, and the operator views LTE as a pure data network.

For the LTE network infrastructure in Oslo, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. has supplied the radio access and core network, as well as operation support systems (OSS) and network planning and optimization services. In Stockholm, Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) provided the radio access, core network, and management systems, as well as the transport infrastructure to connect the base stations. (See Huawei Blazing LTE Trail.)

Ericsson's president of Nordic and Baltics, Mikael Bäckström, notes that not only is TeliaSonera's the first and largest commercial LTE network, but the launch is also ahead of schedule. The plan was to launch in early 2010, Bäckström says. (See TeliaSonera: We'll Do 4G in 2010 and Lars Klasson, CTO & VP of TeliaSonera Mobility.)

With today's launch, even though it is small in scale, TeliaSonera is ahead of the operator pack in evaluating the proto-4G mobile broadband technology.

"An early LTE launch probably doesn't generate significant commercial benefits in the near term, but it does provide TeliaSonera with a very valuable test-bed to learn how to optimize the network and how to align the technology with future services and business models," says Gabriel Brown, senior analyst at Heavy Reading.

"This could provide the carrier with a sustainable competitive advantage a few years down the line as LTE-capable terminals penetrate deeper into the subscriber base," he adds.

Regional LTE RFP pending
There is more LTE business from TeliaSonera up for grabs. The operator revealed today in its press release that "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."

So far, TeliaSonera has new spectrum licenses for LTE in Finland, Norway, and Sweden. (See Euro LTE Spectrum Bargain.)

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung

IPobserver 12/5/2012 | 3:51:00 PM
re: TeliaSonera First to Go Live With LTE

Exciting news, yes?

MarisaM 12/5/2012 | 3:50:59 PM
re: TeliaSonera First to Go Live With LTE

Following the developments this week to launch 4G wireless networks, it should be noted that the achievements of 02 and TeliaSonera will not only blaze a trail for "me-too" network operators, but device manufacturers - who are already locked in a fierce battle for smartphone supremacy - will also want to be a part of this lucrative new market.

Today's smartphones are increasingly sophisticated and the data-rich applications that they host are just as complex. With that in mind, there's little doubt that, with mobile web speeds up to 10 times faster than 3G, 4G networks have been positioned as the most realistic way to cope with our current appetite for bandwidth.

However, as telcos and manufacturers struggle to keep up with the likes of 02, it's important to ensure that the rush to get products to market doesn't impact on quality. Appropriate testing needs to take place, and the solutions are available to increase the speed at which this can be achieved, even in the absence of a working prototype! This way, operators and device manufacturers can deliver competitive products to market on time, without cutting corners on interoperability or application performance - both of which will result in negative PR from disgruntled consumers.

David Gehringer,

Fanfare Software

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