Sonera expands its broadband offering into Digita’s @450 network

Sonera responds to the increased demand for broadband services in Finland by launching wireless broadband services in Digita’s @450 broadband network on December 4, 2007. Sonera Broadband Wireless meets especially the needs of people in sparsely-populates areas, enabling a data transmission speed of 1 Mbps even outside the coverage area of the current fixed network and 3G network. The launch of this service has a central part in TeliaSonera's plans to migrate to wireless services in sparsely-populated areas.

“Sonera’s Trend Report 2007 indicates that more than half of the people in Finland want to use wireless Internet at their summerhouses and at hotels, which shows that apart from regular residents, people at leisure also have an obvious need for broadband services in these areas. Extensive broadband services also make it possible to work efficiently outside the office,” says Senior Vice President Juha-Pekka Weckström, in charge of TeliaSonera’s Broadband Services Finland.

Flexible solution for mobile work and leisure-time usage
Unlike the broadband accesses of the fixed network, Sonera Broadband Wireless follows you wherever you go, for it can be used throughout the coverage area of Digita’s wireless @450 broadband network. Sonera acts as a service provider in the @450 network, which at this stage covers large areas in Southern, Southeastern and Middle Finland and areas from Savo to Oulu, Kuusamo and Lapland. Digita is expanding its network at a rapid pace: the aim is that the network would have nationwide coverage by the end of 2009.

The service's test users have been pleased with wireless broadband: 97 per cent of the users say that the service is easy to take into use. To use the wireless access, the users need a Flash OFDM modem operating at the 450 MHz frequency on their computers. The modem can be purchased from Sonera. As a rule, the access can be activated in the modem on the order date. For consumer customers, 1-Mbps Sonera Broadband Wireless access is available at a monthly charge of 49.90 euros. The consumer access comprises the supplementary services pertaining to the data transmission rate of the access, such as email and home page space. More flexibility is afforded by the possibility of interrupting the service for a period of 1 to 9 months.

The wireless broadband service for companies also operates in peak traffic
In the Sonera Business Internet Wireless solution designed for companies, the radio path is prioritized. This means that the service is operational even when the number of simultaneous users is large. In case of congestion, when there are several users at the base station, capacity is allocated to prioritized accesses before any non-prioritized accesses. A fixed IP address and other corporate solutions are also available for the Sonera Business Internet Wireless access. The corporate access and solutions are priced separately, the supplementary services being subject to an extra charge.

Wireless solutions gain in popularity
Being a forerunner, Sonera focuses major efforts on building next-generation networks and developing services. The fibre optic network is a reliable and sustainable solution and investment in the future in urban areas, whereas in sparsely populated areas the focus is on wireless network solutions. Sonera’s 3G network is continuously expanding: by the end of the year, it will cover two thirds of the population in Finland, living in about 110 major towns and other population centres. As of the beginning of November, the flat-rate wireless broadband access of 1 Mbps operating in Sonera’s 3G network has been included in the My Sonera subscription available for consumer customers.

Digita’s network differs from the 3G network in that at the frequency 450 MHz a connection can be established further away from the base station than at higher frequencies, such as in the 3G network. The network coverage can thus be improved with a smaller number of base stations. During the pilot period, it was also agreed that the coverage area would first be expanded to areas where the number of users is small and where it is therefore too expensive to build up the fixed network.

“In the countryside, setting up a @450 base station is much more inexpensive than laying a copper cable. In future we will also be able to provide voice services through the @450 network at affordable prices. Our aim is to provide all people in Finland - no matter where they live – with modern broadband access and simultaneoulsy to attend to our top-quality voice subscription offering with the most extensive coverage in Finland,” says Juha-Pekka Weckström.

Further information:

Juha-Pekka Weckström, Senior Vice President, TeliaSonera, Broadband Services Finland
tel. +358 400 564 754, email firstname.lastname@teliasonera.com;