Finland Awards Radio Spectrum for LTE Networks
Published on: 23rd Apr 2009
Note -- this news article is more than a year old.
Finland's TeliaSonera, Elisa and DNA have been allocated additional frequencies enabling them to start building fourth generation (LTE) mobile networks. The frequencies are located in the 1,800 MHz band, which will make Finland the first country in Europe to allow the use of 4G LTE technology at such low frequencies.
As a result, it is expected that the networks can be provided with a substantially wider coverage at a lower cost than commonly used 2,600 MHz networks, which require a considerably larger number of base stations.
According to the Minister of Communications Suvi Lindén, the decision is unique and it means that wireless networks capable of transferring data more efficiently can now be introduced in Finland more rapidly. "The decision will help to make fast wireless networks more widely available in all parts of Finland and they will now also become accessible to people living outside built-up areas. I hope that telecommunications companies start making preparations for the introduction of the 4G technology even though at the moment, the emphasis is still on 3G technology," she adds.
The decision will also allow the development of 4G networks in a situation where 3G networks are still the dominant technology. This will probably eventually facilitate the changeover from one technology to another and allow the transition to proceed in a flexible manner. In principle, the LTE technology is compatible with existing 3G networks even though in the EU the matter is still being looked into.
LTE may, however, be commercially available in Europe as early as 2009 or 2010. According to Lindén, it is therefore necessary to ensure that telecommunications companies can introduce the technology in Finland very quickly.