Reuters reports that Stockholm-based Tele2 and the Swedish branch of Nordic rival Telenor have announced this morning that they will form an equal joint venture to build a fourth-generation mobile network. Rollout is expected to start this year, with a planned 4G launch by the end of 2010, whilst the partnership will also include upgrading GSM infrastructure. ‘Sharing this investment ensures cost-efficiency and enables a solid market position in the long run for Telenor in Sweden,’ said Lars-Ake Norling, chief executive of Telenor Sweden. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, in May 2008 both Telenor and Tele2 were amongst the winners of 2.6GHz wireless broadband concessions in Sweden, with nationwide scope, valid for 15 years. The licences are technology- and service-neutral, and winners have proposed launching Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile services (using the E-UTRA air interface) amongst other platforms such as WiMAX. In November 2007 Telenor’s Swedish broadband unit Bredbandsbolaget won regional wireless broadband licences in all 290 municipalities, in the 3.6GHz-3.8GHz band, suitable for WiMAX-based services. GlobalComms also notes that Tele2 has an existing 2G/3G/3.5G network sharing vehicle with TeliaSonera Sweden – Svenska UMTS-Nat – whilst Telenor has similar reciprocal agreements in place via its joint venture with Hi3G Access Sweden (3), named 3G Infrastructure Services (3GIS).
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