TeliaSonera Finland is moving towards 3G with EDGE leading the way
Positive experiences of pre-commercial use of UMTS
TeliaSonera Finland has speeded up the traditional packet-switched GPRS data transmission in mobile networks with EDGE network technology. Faster data transmission has many benefits when third-generation mobile services are used. EDGE allows the frequency range used by the current mobile networks to be utilized more efficiently for packet-switched data transmission. The data transmission capacity available to an EDGE user is more than twice as high as the current capacity. This increases the smoothness and speed of the wireless use of, for example, email, the Internet and corporate applications.
TeliaSonera Finland also has a network that is based on UMTS technology. This network operates in eighteen major towns of Finland. At present, the UMTS network is in pre-commercial use at about 30 companies, which utilize the network in order to develop their services. The total number of users is over 1,000. At its best, the data transmission rate in the network is 384 kbps, which is almost ten times as high as in the GSM network.
"We launched the pre-commercial use of the UMTS network in December 2003 with companies that need the network for their own service development. In this way, we wish to promote the development of end-user services. We have received valuable and positive feedback on the networks and terminals from the people who have participated in the pre-commercial use," says Timo Ahomäki, Development Director at TeliaSonera Finland.
Project Manager Risto Haukioja of Hewlett-Packard Oy has been using a Sonera UMTS subscription for three months. In his opinion, the system that is in the pre-commercial stage is already quite reliable. The greatest need for development is found in coverage inside buildings, which has traditionally been extremely good in Finland.
"In practice, an ordinary corporate user does not notice any difference compared with the office network when using the normal office applications, reading email, browsing the calendar or transmitting files in the UMTS network. An important new feature is the possibility of talking and transmitting data simultaneously," says Haukioja.
TeliaSonera Finland follows actively the experiences gathered from the pre-commercial use, the launch of dual-mode GSM-UMTS terminals, and other factors relevant to the business entity. The network will be opened for large-scale use during this year, when both the financial and the technical prerequisites have been met.
Services of the information society with 3G mobile devices
Faster third-generation mobile devices bring more alternatives to traditional and broadband Internet accesses for transmitting services of the information society to different users.
Third-generation mobile networks and terminals enhance the user experience of multimedia, i.e. video and sound. In addition to commercial service providers, this feature can be utilized by the state, municipalities, organizations and other representatives of the so-called third sector.
"Many of the present-day and particularly of the future services can be used over both fixed and mobile connections. Thanks to the new mobile communications technologies, the services are available to an increasing number of people. At the same time, the services become easier to use at any time and at any place," says Timo Ahomäki.
Risto Haukioja believes that initially the services provided in the 3G networks will be services that have already been implemented in the fixed network.
"The fixed network solutions HP provides to its business customers can be expanded to the mobile network almost as such, and the customers want to use the tools they are familiar with, such as the email, calendar and their companies' internal intranet tools. I also believe that various entertainment and information services will become more and more popular in the UMTS network as a result of better usability. I myself already use daily for instance traffic and road condition cameras to check the traffic situation on the ring road when walking from my office to the car park," says Project Manager Haukioja.
GSM (Global System for Mobile Communication) = Digital mobile communications system currently in use in Finland
GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) = Standard for packet-switched data transmission technology
EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution) = Technology for increasing the data transmission rate of GPRS connections in the GSM system
UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) = Third-generation mobile communications standard
Timo Ahomäki, Development Director, TeliaSonera Finland Oyj
tel. +358 2040 58288
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