Telenor Norge, the domestic unit of Telenor Group, has announced that it has begun rolling out base stations which will offer 4G services using the 800MHz band. With the operator saying that it expected to boost coverage both in rural areas of the country and indoors, it said it would construct some 1,000 new cell sites, with 111 municipalities to be added to the network footprint before the summer. The development comes as part of a network expansion programme which Telenor Norge expects to complete by the end of 2015. With the operator claiming that 95% of its customers are within its 3G coverage area, it has said further network expansion will see that figure climb to 98%. Meanwhile, by the end of 2015 it expects nine out of ten Norwegians to be able to access its 4G services; currently it says that it has 52% population coverage.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in December 2013 the Norwegian Post & Telecoms Authority (NPT) named Telenor Norge as one of the winning bidders in its sale of 800MHz, 900MHz and 1800MHz spectrum. With the first phase of the auction process having closed, the regulator confirmed that Telenor was to be awarded 2×10MHz in the 800MHz, 2×5MHz in the 900MHz band and 2×10MHz in the 1800MHz band. With regards to the 800MHz spectrum, which contains a coverage obligation, Telenor is required to fulfil a usage obligation to provide mobile broadband services offering average access speeds of at least 2Mbps to 40% of the population within four years of the award of licence.