Rating: And its from TeliaSonera in Sweden and Norway
Given Motorola’s highly dubious claim to have offered the first cellular mobile phone ever (despite the Nordic NMT), this time it seems only fair to let Scandinavia claims to possess the world’s first truly commercial 4G network using LTE technology. Via TeliaSonera in Sweden and Norway.
Significantly, TeliaSonera has launched LTE in 2009 using products from at least three different vendors (not just one supplier). Secondly, the network enabling hardware comes in the shape of base station infrastructure provided by Ericsson (in Stockholm) and Huawei (in Oslo).
In terms of end users’equipment, it seems that a limited quantity of LTE USB modems from Samsung will be available. These Samsung modems will not be multimode (2G/3G/4G). Instead they will only support LTE .
These LTE modesm are not backwards compatible with 2G and 3G, so a separate 3G modem will be available at no extra cost.
In effect, it means that just a small handful of base stations will have been deployed to cover a total of around 450,000 people.
“TeliaSonera’s launch is a significant milestone for LTE networks since it’s the first,” said Philip Solis, practice director at ABI Research.
TeliaSonera is citing 20 Mbit/s to 80 Mbit/s as viable speeds for LTE, but it remains to be seen what the true average speeds per user will be on a network with ordinary end users.
“We are very proud to be the first operator in the world to offer our customers 4G services, commented
Kenneth Karlberg, head of mobility services with TeliaSonera said, “Thanks to the successful cooperation with Ericsson we can offer 4G to our customers in Stockholm earlier than originally planned.”
History will probably attribute the first ever 4G network to any other region that Scandinavia. Nonetheless, it plays home to at least two of the top mobile handset vendors in Nokia and Sony Ericsson.
* UPDATE *
Commenting on the TeliaSonera and O2 UK LTE trial announcements, David Gehringer from device testing company, Fanfare observed, “These trials often focus largely on the device and call technology validation on 4G, without specifically validating the interaction of applications.
He points out that onsumers will inevitably base their happiness with the LTE experience by reacting with applications. “What this calls for is a shift in thinking about the way in which devices and services are tested,” Gehringer added.
“With developments in technology, providers and manufacturers can now employ automated testing solutions that rigorously test the performance and compatibility of a product and its applications – even before working prototypes are available.”
In other words, the industry should drop its fixation on data throughput speeds and concentrate on what really matters – killer apps.
Tony is based in Surrey and is a veteran comms journalist. Tony also writes on the UK market…. contact him here firstname.lastname@example.org.