Tele2 and Telenor fired a shot across the bows of rival TeliaSonera, launching commercial LTE services in major Swedish cities and pledging an aggressive rollout through 2011.
The pair launched services in four cities yesterday and have ambitious plans to expand coverage to 200 cities during 2011, with the aim of covering 99% of the population by 2012.
“Today we are proud to open the doors to what will be Sweden's most comprehensive 4G network," Tele2 Sweden’s chief Niclas Palmstierna said.
Net4Mobility, a joint venture between the two carriers, is managing the network, leaving Tele2 and Telenor to differentiate on price and unlimited data bundles.
And differentiate they have.
Tele2 is selling subscriptions for 299 Swedish kronor (€32) per month for the first 12 months of an 18-month contract, after which the price rises to 499 kronor per month, while Telenor is offering services for 549 kronor per month, with the first six months free on a two year contract.
TeliaSonera, which launched the first commercial LTE network, charges 599 kronor per month, according to pcworld.com
With average data rates tipped to hit 20Mbps to 40Mbps, Palmstierna predicts LTE will encourage consumers to ditch their fixed broadband connections. "Faster mobile connections allow our customers to do all the things they are used to doing via the fixed ADSL connection but through the 4G network."
That adoption could be aided by the addition of unlimited data, another key differentiator from TeliaSonera, which caps usage at 30GB per month, pcworld said.
Surveys show that one in three Swedish consumers and businesses plan to buy 4G equipment in the next year, Tele2 revealed.