Although it was widely expected that Verizon would be the first to launch a 4G LTE network, mobile phone firm TeliaSonera has announced the commercial launch of its LTE network in central parts of two cities – Stockholm, Sweden and Oslo, Norway. (For more, click here and here).
Initially, TeliaSonera will be using USB modems from Samsung, rather than mobile handsets. The base stations will be provided by Ericsson (Stockholm) and Huawei (Oslo). According to its announcement, "Evaluation of suppliers for TeliaSonera’s common 4G core network and radio networks in the Nordic and Baltic countries is in progress and vendors will be selected in the beginning of 2010."
According to a media alert from ABI Research:
- Three large cities in Norway and 25 cities in Sweden will be deployed in 2010. Denmark is a possibility for launches in 2010 as well. 2010 CAPEX is expected to be around US $70 million for TeliaSonera’s LTE rollout.
- The Samsung modems will not be multimode 2G/3G/4G modems – they will only have LTE and will only support the 2.6 GHz band. LTE is not backwards-compatible with 2G and 3G. A separate 3G modem will be available at no extra cost. Multimode modems will be available during the second quarter of 2010. Most LTE chipsets for modems will not be ready until next year, so the LTE chipset is likely Samsung’s own.
- The service speed is cited as 20 Mbps to 80 Mbps, but it remains to be seen what the true average speeds per user will be on a loaded network.
- TeliaSonera’s network is using 20 MHz channels, which will help it achieve at least the lower end of the cited speed range. Service pricing will be at around US $84 per month with a 30 GB cap – intended to be higher than 3G pricing – but will start with an introductory price of about US $0.56 per month with no monthly usage cap until July 2010.