TeliaSonera became the first operator to commercially launch an LTE network. The Scandinavian carrier is lighting up its network in Stockholm and Oslo. The milestone launch, ahead of other carriers such as Verizon Wireless and NTT DoCoMo, precedes what many expect to be a much larger wave of commercial LTE launches next year.
The company said it plans to roll out its LTE network to 25 more Swedish cities and three more Norwegian ones next year at a cost of around $70 million. Ericsson is providing the network equipment for the Stockholm market, while Huawei is providing the equipment for the Oslo market. Normal download speeds are expected to be between 20 Mbps and 80 Mbps.
Samsung is providing an LTE-only USB dongle; customers will need to use a second modem to access TeliaSonera's 3G network. Until July 1, customers can get the Samsung modem for free and pay a nominal subscription cost per month. After that, the monthly access fee will jump to around $48 per month.
The Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) said last week there are 51 LTE network commitments in 24 countries, and up to 19 LTE networks will be in commercial service by the end of 2010. Verizon Wireless plans to launch 25-30 commercial LTE markets next year and AT&T is expected to begin its LTE launches in 2011.
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