Sonera looks to migrate fixed users to wireless

TeliaSonera's Finnish division, Sonera, has publicly admitted that it will begin migrating end users from its fixed network to its wireless businesses in rural areas. Sonera is seeking regulatory approval to migrate both voice and broadband users once wireless technology is available to make the transition.

"Instead of spending millions of euros to replace hundreds of thousands of telephone poles that are approaching the end of their lifecycle, Sonera has decided to invest in modern, wireless technology," said Juha-Pekka Weckström, senior vice-president of TeliaSonera Broadband Services Finland. "This allows us to safeguard the continuity of our customers' telecom services in sparsely-populated areas, and we are convinced that the customers will notice the benefits of the change," he added.

Sonera's move will likely make it the first former incumbent in Western Europe to adopted a fixed-to-mobile substitution plan publicly. The operator says that as much as half of its fixed network in sparsely populated areas is now idle as the number of customers drops by 10 percent to 15 percent a year.

In September, TeliaSonera made a deal in Finland to provision wireless broadband services from Digita Oy's Flash-OFDM broadband network that operates in the 450 MHz band. TeliaSonera is using the technology as a way to cost effectively extend the reach of its fixed broadband services in more difficult-to-reach areas of Finland.

For more about TeliaSonera's plans:
- read this analysis from Communications Direct