Telenor and Tele2 to Build Joint LTE Network in Sweden

Sweden’s Tele2 and Norway’s Telenor are to jointly build a nationwide LTE network in Sweden and share spectrum in the 900MHz and 2600MHz frequency bands through a new joint venture, called Net4 Mobility.  Deployment will start during 2009 in an effort to launch commercial LTE-based services at the end of 2010, or when mobile devices become available. The operators will be equal partners in the joint venture. The move is expected to create superior conditions for a nationwide LTE network in Sweden and bring costs savings to the operators.

Telenor Sweden and Tele2 Sweden today announced an agreement to build a joint 4G network in Sweden. The agreement includes the formation of a joint venture for network construction and sharing of spectrum for mobile communication. The roll-out of what will be Sweden's most extensive 4G network will start this year with the intent of launching high-speed mobile broadband services based on LTE-technology in the end of 2010, while at the same time improving voice coverage (GSM) for all customers.

"This is where the race to 4G begins. By building a joint network and sharing our spectrum we create a whole new playing field on the Swedish market, placing ourselves in pool position to provide high-speed mobile broadband with the best coverage and quality. Sharing this investment ensures cost-efficiency and enables a solid market position in the long run for Telenor in Sweden," said Lars-Åke Norling, CEO Telenor Sweden.
"Through this partnership, Telenor will be in the forefront of 4G worldwide. Telenor also holds a 4G licence in Norway, and has already started testing in Norway. Telenor has a clear ambition of taking a leading mobile broadband position in Scandinavia, said Morten Karlsen Sørby, Executive Vice President and head of Telenor Nordic.
Telenor and Tele2 will be equal partners in the joint venture. The agreement also comprises spectrum sharing in the 900MHz and 2600MHz frequency bands, creating superior conditions for a nation-wide 4G network in Sweden.
"We are proud that Sweden is one of the first countries in the world with 4G network for the entire population. For our customers this means improved coverage for voice calls across the country and a network for mobile internet with speeds that will be 10-15 times faster than today. With this partnership, we can ensure a cost-efficient investment and continue to develop affordable offerings while we continue to compete for the customers," said Niclas Palmstierna, CEO Tele2 Sweden.
The launch of high-speed mobile broadband services based on LTE-technology is expected in the end of 2010, or when mobile devices (modems) become available on the market.
"The shift from fixed to mobile communication has been a relatively slow process in Sweden. Access to next generation mobile networks will accelerate the usage of mobile services. By combining and thereby obtaining more leverage out of possible assets, such as frequencies, any market participant have the opportunity to improve on positions generated from using wholly owned assets only," said Katja Ruud, Research Director at Gartner.
In 2013, the operators expect 99 percent of the Swedish population to have access to mobile broadband at speeds of up to 80 Mbit/s in rural areas and up to 150 Mbit/s in urban areas. The roll-out includes an extension of the GSM network by 30-50 percent, resulting in better indoor and outdoor coverage on mobile voice communication.
Headquartered in Oslo, Norway, Telenor is an international provider of high quality telecommunications, data and media communication services. Telenor is one of Norway’s largest companies with revenues in 2008 of approx. NOK 111 billion (including Kyivstar) and a work force of more than 40,000 domestically and abroad. Telenor is listed at the Oslo Stock Exchange (TEL).