|Elisa launches world's first commercial UMTS900 network|
|Thursday, 08 November 2007|
At 9.30am EET this morning, Minister of Trade and Industry Mauri Pekkarinen and Elisa's CEO Veli-Matti Mattila made the world's first commercial UMTS900 video phone call in Siuntio, Finland.
With the phone call, Elisa launched the world's first commercial UMTS900 network in the municipalities of Siuntio and Pertunmaa. UMTS900, which uses a frequency of 900 megahertz, makes it possible to build 3G networks profitably outside densely populated areas. The costs of building a UMTS900 network can be only one-third of the present costs.
- UMTS900 is a solution to provide fast mobile broadband for sparsely populated areas. The present 3G coverage area can be expanded significantly and in the future it will cover all of Finland. Thanks to UMTS900, in the future all Finns will be able to use fast and affordable 3G mobile Internet access and other mobile services, says Veli-Matti Mattila, President and CEO of Elisa.
The speed of 3G will increase fivefold in 2008
At the beginning of 2008, already about 75 per cent of Finns in over 130 municipalities will be covered by Elisa's 3G services. The connection speeds of 3G mobile data can be up to 2 Mbit per second, which is comparable with good fixed broadband connections.
- Over the course of next year, the speed of Elisa's current 3G network and the UMTS900 network will already increase to close to 10 Mbps. Over the next few years, the speed of mobile broadband will still more than double from this level to the same speed as very fast fixed broadband connections, Veli-Matti Mattila says.
During 2008, Elisa will implement the 3G expansions and speed increases partly using UMTS900 technology in co-operation with Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks.
- At the present time, UMTS900 terminals include Nokia 6121 classic phone, which is available from Elisa and data cards from various manufacturers, which will be sold by Elisa.
UMTS900 is supported in the significant number of 3G terminals that will be launched on the market during next year by various manufacturers and in future UMTS900 will be a standard feature in all 3G terminals in Europe. All UMTS900 terminals in Europe also support present GSM and 3G networks, and the terminal selects automatically the best network available.
The history of mobile communications
Elisa has made history also earlier in the field of mobile telecommunications. The world's first GSM phone call was made and the world's first commercial GSM service was launched in 1991 in the Radiolinja's network, at that time a subsidiary of Elisa. The world's first GSM data phone call was made in 1993, also in Radiolinja's network.
In 2006 Elisa became the first operator in the Nordic region to launch HSDPA service and in August of this year Elisa launched HSUPA technology. The world's first UMTS900 call in a commercial network was made one year ago in Elisa's network.
Elisa's commercial UMTS900 service, launched today over Elisa's network in Finland, is the first in the world. The Government approved the use of UMTS900 in Finland on 31 May 2006 and the decision was applied in the latest decision on the 900 megahertz frequency band by the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority on 1 November 2007. Over the course of next year, UMTS900 services are expected to be launched in many other countries.
- The commercial launch of UMTS900 strengthens Finland's position as one of the leading information societies in the world. UMTS900 also enables better implementation of the fast mobile Internet access that will cover the whole country, said Mauri Pekkarinen, Minister of Trade and Industry.
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