Scandinavian 4G networks go live today

Speed is everything.

In its path to faster 4G wireless connectivity, Sweden-based telephone company TeliaSonera has shifted its network rollouts into high gear. In just over six months, it turned a single LTE cell site into a full deployment in Stockholm, Sweden; and it has taken its 4G network in Oslo, Norway from idea to reality in just eleven months.

Today, the operator announced the launch of both of these networks, strengthening Northern Europe's lead in 4G connectivity. Verizon Wireless, the United States' leader in LTE development, still does not expect its first deployment to go live until the second half of 2010.

"Thanks to the successful cooperation with Ericsson, we can offer 4G to our customers in Stockholm earlier than originally planned," said Kenneth Karlberg, President and Head of Mobility Services at TeliaSonera. Ericsson provided the entire infrastructure for the Stockholm deployment, including RBS6000 series LTE radio base stations, an Evolved Packet Core network, a mobile backhaul solution (including SmartEdge 1200 routers) EDA multi-access aggregation switch and an Operation and Management System.

Chinese wireless equipment vendor Huawei supplied the gear for TeliaSonera's Oslo deployment. Yu Chengdong, President of Huawei Europe, said that the "milestone" Oslo network was conceived, deployed and launched in "only a short period of time."

The speedy deployment of LTE is thanks in part to the European Commission's interest the standard, into which it invested €18 million in August, after the 900 MHz band was approved for LTE by the European Parliament. The Commission's projects are expected to cost more than €700 million by 2012.

Though Nokia announced in September that it had completed trials with its own LTE modem, all modems for TeliaSonera's launch will be provided by Samsung. Perhaps when the operator completes its Finnish network (for which it already has licenses), it will offer hardware by the hometown company.

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