TeliaSonera secures LTE modems for 2010 launch

Determined to be the first European operator to go live with LTE next year has seen TeliaSonera sign a modem supply deal with Samsung. The company said that it planned offer the LTE modems with data speeds up to 10x currently experienced to subscribers in Stockholm and Oslo in 2010.

According to Kenneth Karlberg, president and head of mobility services at TeliaSonera, the company had teamed up with Samsung to meet customers' continuously increasing demands for high speed mobile broadband services and to acquire an early understanding of end users' ways of using LTE.

However, both firms are labelling the service as 4G - with the modem carrying prominent 4G branding, which might be considered as over-hyping the capabilities given that true 4G specification, known as "IMT-Advanced" will not be ratified by the ITU until late 2010. This particular modem is apparently seen as an interim solution - given it is LTE-only, and new multi-wireless technology modems from vendors including Samsung are expected sometime next year.

In January 2009, TeliaSonera signed a Stockholm-only contract with Ericsson for LTE network deployment, followed swiftly by a similar deal with China's Huawei for an LTE rollout in Oslo for its Norwegian unit NetCom.

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