The first full commercial Long Term Evolution service was launched today, by Swedish cellular operator TeliaSonera. The carrier plans to expand 4G coverage to 25 cities in Sweden and four in Norway by the end of 2010.
Stockholm and Oslo have the world’s first commercial LTE service. The LTE service costs 599 Swedish Kronor ($84) per month in Stockholm, reports Unstrung. In Oslo, TeliaSonera’s LTE service will cost (US$120) along with a fee for the modem. Monthly data usage is capped at 30GByte.
TeliaSonera became the first operator in the world to launch LTE commercially and has three nation wide 4G/LTE licenses; in Sweden, Norway and Finland. They are using the 2.6GHz band. Ericsson is using their RBS6000 base stations, an Evolved Packet Core network, and a mobile backhaul solution including Redback SmartEdge 1200 routers.
It has a theoretical maximum speed of 100Mbps with real-world speeds of 20-80Mbps, according to Johan Wibergh, senior vice president and head of Ericsson’s business unit for networks. That’s about 10 times faster than predecessor HSDPA.
Verizon Wireless says it expects to commercially launch its LTE 4G network in up to 30 markets in 2010, covering 100 million people with full nationwide coverage in 2013. The company successfully completed its first Long Term Evolution (LTE) data call in Boston, in August, 2009, using 3GPP Release 8. The company also completed an LTE 4G data call in Seattle. Verizon says its LTE network will deliver speeds between 5 Mbps and 12 Mbps.
The difference between Verizon and TeliaSonera is that Verizon is using the 700 MHz band and has 10 MHz of radio spectrum each for the uplink and the downlink. TeliaSonera is using the 2.6 GHz band and has 20 MHz available for each channel.
TeliaSonera’s LTE service will cover around 400,000 people in the centres of Stockholm and Oslo, although it is adding base stations every day. It will first introduce the services in the largest cities in Sweden and Norway, followed by sites in Finland, where it recently received an LTE licence. TeleSonera said it hopes to get the licence for a Danish rollout early in 2010.
Until 1 July 2010, TeliaSonera is applying no data cap, but after that date it will put a 30GB-per-month cap in place.
Telenor, Norway’s largest mobile operator with 2.98 million subscribers and a 55 percent market share, announced last month that it will replace its entire mobile infrastructure in its home market of Norway, with Huawei and Starent gear for its mobile network.
“This is the biggest upgrade of the mobile network in Norway we have ever carried out”, said Ragnar Kårhus, CEO of Telenor Norway. It’s a major deal for both Huawei and Starent, and a bit of a shocker for Nordic-based Ericsson and Nokia.
The existing network was largely built by Swedish-based Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks, based in Finland. The six-year agreement includes the delivery of multi-base stations for 2G, 3G/UMTS and 4G/LTE. Telenor is the seventh largest carrier in the world, with 172 million subscribers.
Net4Mobility, the Swedish joint venture of Tele2 and Telenor will build a national LTE network in Sweden with Huawei the sole supplier, snubbing Sweden’s Ericsson.
Wireless Intelligence claims that 58 mobile operators worldwide have already committed to LTE plans, trials or deployments. Up to another 17 LTE networks are anticipated to be in service by the end of 2010 in the U.S., Canada, Japan, Norway, South Korea, South Africa, Sweden, Armenia and Finland, according to data from the Global Mobile Suppliers Association.
Ericsson expects 80% of mobile broadband services will be enabled by cellular by 2012, using HSPA and LTE technologies. Ericsson CEO Carl-Henric Svanberg said the bulk of mobile broadband deployments in the coming five years will be based on HSPA. According to Unstrung, Svanberg forecast 3.5 billion high-speed access lines globally, about 80 percent of which would be via wireless, rather than fixed. Of the 3 billion mobile broadband lines, about 70 percent will be HSPA, predicts Ericsson.
The GSM Association says there are now some 167 million HSPA connections worldwide. AT&T had a 21 percent share of the global HSPA customer base with more than 28.6 million HSPA subscriptions, as of mid-year 2009.
The WiMAX Forum wants a piece of that action. ABI Research says there are now 2 million WiMAX users world wide and Maravedis forecasts an accumulated 75 million WiMAX subscribers by the end of 2014.
Clear has launched WiMAX service in Chicago, Charlotte, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Honolulu, Philadelphia, and Seattle in 2009, covering some 30 million people. Cities planned to launch in 2010 are New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., Houston and the San Francisco Bay Area.
The company expects to bring CLEAR to 80 markets covering up to 120 million people by the end of 2010. By 2010, Clearwire hopes to have 4.6 millon subs in the United States and close to 20 million subs by 2014.
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