TeliaSonera has announced the launch of Finland’s first commercial Long Term Evolution (LTE) services, with customers in Turku and Helsinki gaining access to maximum theoretical downlink speeds of up to 100Mbps. Having soft-launched a pre-commercial network in the Turku municipality’s centre in June 2010, full commercial services are available across the region, while at launch in Helsinki they are restricted to the business centre area Alppila-Vallila-Ita-Pasila, located around 3km north of the city centre. Offered under the ‘Sonera Full Net 4G’ banner, the service will cost EUR46 (USD38.6) per month, has a 30GB monthly data usage allowance, and will include a Samsung USB modem that also supports 2G and 3G connectivity. The 4G infrastructure was rolled out in partnership with local vendor Nokia Siemens Networks in Turku and Swedish equipment company Ericsson in Helsinki.
Commenting on the development, Marek Hintze, head of TeliaSonera’s Mobility Services in Finland, said: ‘The explosive growth of mobile broadband shows that the demand for bandwidth is unlimited, and with 4G we can offer more speed and capacity for mobile data … We have now been operating our 4G network for pilot customers in Turku for six months and the interest in 4G has steadily increased. Therefore we are very happy to launch commercially.’ Further, the company outlined its future plans, with the executive adding that while its current LTE infrastructure operates using the 2600MHz band it will focus on rolling out future 4G services using 1800MHz spectrum as it claims this will allow it to build wider coverage for our customers’ benefit.’