Flarion Wins in Finland
As Unstrung pointed out last week, the firm had a pretty good shot at the contract, with five out of the seven bidders stating a preference for Flarion's Flash-OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing) technology. In the end, Digita Oy clinched the deal.
The carrier plans a three-phase rollout. The first phase, covering sparsely populated regions, is due to be completed in September 2006. The majority of Finland would be covered by December 2007 and remaining "shadow areas" added by September 2009.
Digita was unable to provide comment on its planned network expenditure, but bidding rival Saunalahti Group Oyj had set aside €30 million (US$36 million) for deployment (see Flarion Finds Finnish Friend).
Flarion's VP of global communications and marketing, Ronny "The Rocket" Haraldsvik, says that the deal will have "further ramifications beyond 450." He sees Finland's network as a model for European regulators considering the launch of 450MHz networks. Until now, 450MHz rollouts in Europe have used CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) technology (see CDMA 450 Seeps Into Europe, CDMA 450 Flows Into Norway, and EV-DO Hits Europe). The deployment is a significant win for Flarion -- its first publicly announced commercial deployment in the 450MHz band following an earlier OEM agreement with Siemens AG (NYSE: SI; Frankfurt: SIE). (See Flarion Flashes With Siemens.) Scuttlebutt suggests a deal with EuroTel Bratislava a.s. has also been inked (see Flarion, Siemens in at Eurotel).
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung
Justin Springham, Senior Editor, Europe, Unstrung, contributed to this story