Finnish carriers TeliaSonera, Elisa and DNA have all been allocated additional wireless spectrum, potentially allowing them to start building out 4G mobile networks immediately.
According to Finland’s minister of communications, Suvi Linden, the decision is unique in Europe, with the frequencies located in the 1800MHz range. This band, which has traditionally been used for GSM services, offers substantially wider coverage at a lower cost than the more commonly reserved 2600MHz band.
According to Linden, LTE could be commercially available in Europe as early as 2009 or 2010 as a result of the award.
“The decision will help to make fast wireless networks more widely available in all parts of Finland and they will now also become accessible to people living outside built-up areas. I hope that telecommunications companies start making preparations for the introduction of the 4G technology even though at the moment, the emphasis is still on 3G technology,” Linden said.
Earlier this month analysts said that next generation wireless technologies such as 3G LTE and Mobile WiMAX would prompt operators to adopt an ‘open access’ mentality, allowing any client device to connect to the network, in turn resulting in higher service stickiness and reduced churn.