TeliaSonera lights up LTE in Finland, as SMS traffic declines in Norway

Finnish residents have joined their near neighbours in Sweden and Norway by having access to LTE services. This commercial launch by TeliaSonera will provide LTE coverage in northern Helsinki and Turku and follows a six-month pilot conducted earlier this year.

Commenting on the launch, Marek Hintze, head of TeliaSonera's mobility services in Finland, said the company had been operating its trial LTE network in Turku for six months and the interest in 4G had steadily increased. "Therefore we are very happy to launch commercially."

Hintze added that the company would significantly expand coverage in Helsinki as soon as there were modems available for both 1.8GHz and 2.6GHz frequencies. "We are focusing on building LTE in the 1.8 GHz frequency band, because this way we can build wider coverage for our customers' benefit," said the TeliaSonera exec.

The cost for TeliaSonera's LTE service 'Sonera Full Net 4G' is €46 per month, including a LTE dongle modem that also supports 3G and 2G. The 2.6GHz dongle modems are currently being supplied by Samsung, with multimode modems for both LTE frequencies expected next Spring.

Elsewhere, the Norwegian Post and Telecommunications Authority (NPT) has revealed that the number of text messages have declined for the first time. According to the NPT, mobile customers sent more than 4.2 billion messages in the first half of 2010, which represents a decrease from 112 to 105 messages per person per month.

"Even though more than four billion messages is a lot, this means 82 million fewer SMS messages than in the first half of 2009. The decrease represents about NOK 50 million," said NPT Director General, Willy Jensen. "It is most likely connected with new forms of communication and social media such as Twitter and Facebook."

For more:
- see this article
- see this Cellular News article

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