Finland’s Ukkoverkot (Ukko Mobile) has signed a contract with Chinese vendor Huawei for the deployment of what the latter claims is the world’s first commercial LTE 450MHz network. As per the terms of the deal, Huawei has said it will provide Ukko Mobile with an end-to-end network solution, including base stations and devices, to ensure the smooth migration from the existing CDMA-based services being offered using the 450MHz spectrum to the 4G technology. Ukko Mobile is reportedly aiming to provide nationwide LTE (data only) coverage using its 450MHz frequencies by the end of 2014, while also saying it hopes to offer the fastest mobile broadband speeds in the country.
Commenting on the development, Antti Pellinen, Ukkoverkot’s CEO, was cited as saying: ‘Ukkoverkot is clearly in challenger position in the Finnish mobile market landscape, especially from a frequency resources point of view. Deploying disruptive technology like LTE 450MHz is a good technology strategy. It gives us high capacity and new value for the 450MHz band in mobile data use. In addition, the coverage properties are truly impressive, with countrywide network across the whole of Finland (~340,000 square kilometres) successfully achieved with only [a] few hundred sites.’
TeleGeography notes that Ukko Mobile received a 450MHz mobile concession on 8 May 2014, and inherited a CDMA-450 wireless broadband network with coverage of 99.9% of the Finnish population, courtesy of the network’s previous operator, fellow Finnish company Datame, which entered bankruptcy in November 2013. Earlier this month Ukko Mobile revealed that it had contracted domestic firm Omnitele to ‘design’ a new 4G LTE wireless broadband network which would overlay its existing national CDMA-450 infrastructure.