TeliaSonera Installs First LTE Base Station

Swedish operator TeliaSonera has installed the base station in a new mobile network using LTE (Long Term Evolution) technology, which promises faster data speeds than today's networks, it announced on Monday.

The site is located in Stockholm, and TeliaSonera plans to complete its LTE coverage of the Swedish capital during the second quarter, according to Erik Hallberg, senior vice president and head of TeliaSonera Mobility Services in Sweden.

The number of sites it will install in Stockholm is something TeliaSonera will keep to itself for now, Hallberg said.

The Swedish operator has so far been one of the most aggressive operators in the world when it comes to rolling out LTE. It acquired spectrum in the 2.6GHz band for 563 million Swedish Kronor (US$75 million) in May 2008, and started building the network in January.

The real data capacity users get will be about ten times faster than current 3G networks, according to TeliaSonera.

The availability of modems is what now stands in the way of TeliaSonera offering commercial services, according to Hallberg. He hopes they will be available early next year, as vendors have started to pick up the speed at which the first generation devices are being developed, according to Hallberg.

The installation of the first LTE base station is an important milestone and shows that LTE no longer is a "future" technology, according to Ericsson, which supplied the equipment for the site.

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