Finnish quadruple-play telecoms operators TeliaSonera Finland (Sonera) and DNA are moving forward with their previously announced shared mobile network project covering northern and eastern Finland, having concluded a cooperation agreement under which the network will be sourced, implemented and managed by their jointly-owned company Suomen Yhteisverkko Oy (Yhteisverkko). In a press release yesterday, Finnish mobile consultancy Omnitele revealed that it has been selected by Yhteisverkko to plan, design and optimise the new shared 2G/3G/4G radio access network (RAN), undertaking responsibility for network quality until the end of 2017. Sonera and DNA will share the northern/eastern regional RAN whilst maintaining their own separate core networks. The main equipment provider for the project has not yet been announced.
Geographically the new network will cover approximately 50% of Finland’s territory but only around 15% of the population. As previously reported by CommsUpdate in August, Sonera and DNA are combining their respective LTE-suitable spectrum in the 800MHz band to enable higher speeds and capacity in the regions covered by the shared RAN, with DNA stating that the network cooperation would contribute significantly to enhancing the technical quality of network services in sparsely populated areas. Both operators will continue to compete independently with regard to products and pricing models in the areas covered by the shared RAN.
Omnitele said in its press release that – assuming near-future antenna configurations, i.e. 2×2 MIMO – the new shared network can reach up to 300Mbps from launch. Antti Jokinen, CEO of Yhteisverkko, stated: ‘Our aim is very high, we want to offer the best possible customer experience, maximise the efficiency of our operations and make targeted network investments. Inking the deal with Omnitele is a logical choice for us. Omnitele has an excellent track record, proven processes and excellent knowhow that fit with our quality and efficiency targets.’
Sonera has taken a 51% stake in the Yhteisverkko joint venture, with DNA holding the other 49%. Sonera and DNA are respectively Finland’s second- and third-largest mobile operators by subscribers, while both offer quadruple-play fixed line, broadband, mobile and pay-TV services. DNA is also Finland’s largest cable TV operator.