European operator TeliaSonera has launched the world’s first commercial LTE network in Oslo, Norway, and Stockholm, Sweden. The 4G services at launch offer maximum speeds of up to 100 Mbps, which is about 10 times faster than existing 3G networks.

TeliaSonera’s LTE network beat out planned 2010 launches by Verizon Wireless, MetroPCS Communications and Japan’s NTT DoCoMo.

“We are very proud to be the first operator in the world to offer our customers 4G services,” said TeliaSonera’s mobility chief Kenneth Karlberg. “The use of mobile broadband in the Nordic countries is exploding, and customers need higher speeds and capacity. This is why we launched 4G services in both Stockholm and Oslo.”

TeliaSonera and infrastructure companies Huawei and Ericsson began the effort just 11 months ago. The network build-out was completed earlier than originally planned thanks to “successful cooperation” with Huawei and Ericsson, said Karlberg. The network was based on the 3GPP’s standards for LTE and evolved packet core technologies.

Samsung 4G USB dongles were made available for the launch. No information was provided as to when LTE handsets would become available.

Huawei was tapped to provide the 4G access network, core network, operation support system, and network planning and optimization for the Oslo network. So far, Huawei has constructed more than 25 LTE commercial and trial networks and has made more than 3,300 LTE/SAE contributions to 3GPP.

Ericsson also had a hand in the deployment, providing base stations, backhaul, and the evolved packet core network and other network components for the Stockholm LTE network.

"The new era of mobile broadband has just begun today,” said Ericsson President and CEO Carl-Henric Svanberg. “With LTE, [your] mobile broadband experience is moving to unequalled levels. The LTE speed gives you an absolutely effortless feeling of broadband access."

TeliaSonera has LTE licenses in Sweden, Norway and Finland. It is currently evaluating vendors for 4G network deployments in other Nordic and Baltic countries. Infrastructure providers for further LTE deployments will be announced in the beginning of 2010.

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