TeliaSonera switches rural users to wireless

Over 50,000 Finns living in rural areas will have their fixed telecoms service switched off as part of a plan to migrate users to an all-wireless network. The Finnish operator, TeliaSonera, said that this action would see GSM voice services become available within a year, with wireless broadband by the end of 2009.

The company said that it currently favours a mobile broadband network based upon Flash-OFDM technology running at 450MHz. However, TeliaSonera said it would not be building the network itself as the 450MHz license had been awarded to TV and radio network operator Digita Oy for the purpose of bringing broadband services to rural areas by the end of 2009. One of the reasons behind this, according to Eila Rummukainen, director of broadband services at TeliaSonera, was the one million telephone poles needed to provide lines to the 53,000 subscribers. "It's too expensive to have this kind of fixed network in these rural areas, and the mobile network is more reliable."

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