First in the world with 4G

TeliaSonera was the first operator in the world to commercially launch 4G. It was in late 2009, in the city centres of Stockholm and Oslo. A year later, 4G was launched in Finland. In 2014 TeliaSonera offers 4G services in 10 countries.

With 4G, the fourth generation of mobile telephony, the users can reach mobile broadband speed up to ten times higher than of Turbo-3G, or 80 Mbit/s in optimal conditions. 4G is based on the LTE technology (Long Time Evolution), an international standard and a complete IP based technology for data transmission.

TeliaSonera was the first telecom operator in the world to launch 4G commercially. That happened on December 14, 2009, in the capitals of Sweden and Norway – Stockholm and Oslo, respectively. During the Swedish Crown Princess' Royal Wedding in June 2010, Swedish TV companies broadcasted live via 4G from the celebrations in Stockholm.

TeliaSonera gained the Swedish license in an auction 2008, where five licenses were allocated from the Post and Telecom Authority (PTS). The auction was closed after 16 days and 112 bidding rounds. The total value of the licenses summed up to 2 billion Swedish crowns (or 245 million euros). The other licenses were acquired by Hi3G Access AB, Intel Capital Corporation, Tele2 and Telenor.

First in Finland too

One year after the first launch, on November 30, 2010, TeliaSonera also introduced 4G in Finland. Also this time as the first operator. The services were then offered to customers in Helsinki and Turku.

The roll out of 4G has been extensive throughout the TeliaSonera footprint covering all Nordic and Baltic countries. In 2014, TeliaSonera offers 4G not only in Sweden, Norway and Finland, but also in Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Spain, Moldova and Azerbaijan. TeliaSonera has made 4G live connections in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

In 2013 TeliaSonera in Estonia managed to build out 4G to cover 95 per cent of the country in two weeks' time; giving TeliaSonera Estonian operation the best national 4G coverage in Europe.

From modems to handsets

The world's first combined modems for 4G, 3G, 2G and PC/Mac were also offered by TeliaSonera. These made the mobile experience easier since the users only needed one modem to use different mobile broadband network services.

Five years into 4G mobile handsets, such as mobile phones and tablets, are available in most markets. A technology, CS Fallback, ensures that all users can make and receive calls and SMS even if there is no support for voice service in 4G/LTE. This simply works by "redirecting the call" to 3G or 2G and then back to 4G when hanging up.

Written by
Karin Jansson