TeliaSonera has signed up 140,000 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile broadband subscribers in Sweden to date, the Nordic group revealed at the Open Mobile Summit this week, having launched 4G modem-based services in December 2009, LTE-compatible tablets in late-2011 and a smartphone supporting LTE in February this year. As reported on the GSMA’s website, the head of TeliaSonera’s mobility division, Hakkan Dahlstroem, told delegates at the London summit that the number of 4G customers at its subsidiaries is growing in line with network expansion. The company has now expanded its LTE networks to cover two-thirds of the Swedish population and around three-quarters of Danish inhabitants, although Dahlstroem declined to give subscriber figures for Denmark or any of its five other LTE markets in the Scandinavian and Baltic regions. TeliaSonera had previously given a rough estimate of ‘around 100,000’ LTE subscribers across all its markets by February/March 2012, with the lion’s share in Sweden, TeleGeography notes.
Dahlstroem also revealed that TeliaSonera was preparing to compete with third-party, over-the-top (OTT) communications applications such as WhatsApp and Skype, by developing a Rich Communication Suite (RCS) type service (integrating functions such as instant messaging, image/video sharing, voice calling, presence information, SMS and MMS), which he said was in response to demand from its customers. He added that the Stockholm-based group’s strategy going forward is to support OTT services but also to offer self-developed alternatives. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that, as part of its wider strategy the group has made recent moves towards a ‘new sustainable business model,’ for instance announcing the phasing-in of mobile VoIP calling on a paid-for basis, initially by Spanish unit Yoigo, ahead of Telia in Sweden this summer.