Sweden’s telephone booths to become surfing booths

– This summer Telia is offering wireless broadband in city and town centres Telia is now establishing more than 700 new Internet surfing zones in Sweden by equipping a number of its telephone booths with fast wireless connections. The first booths to be upgraded will be those located in the country’s three principal cities – in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö. Connecting to the Internet from these surfing booths will be free of charge during the entire summer.

The telephone booths will be transformed into surfing booths by equipping each booth with a WLAN base station from Ericsson that provides a wireless connection within a radius of approximately 150 metres from the booth. With this initiative, Telia will be able to offer fast wireless connections to the Internet in more than 700 phone booths located in shopping galleries and shopping centres, as well as outdoors in public places. During July and August, there will be no charge for surfing from the booths. The only thing that is required is a portable computer and a mobile telephone that is used to receive the password.

“We’re now taking the phone booth into the 2000s and making it part of Telia’s nationwide network. With this initiative, we are expanding our Telia HomeRun wireless broadband network to create the largest public WLAN network in Sweden,” says Erik Hallberg, Head of Broadband Services at TeliaSonera Sweden.

The first surfing booths will be set up in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö. After that, the build-out will continue in approximately 20 towns in Sweden. During the autumn, the surfing booths will cover about 50 percent of the Swedish population. Ericsson is supplying the WLAN base stations for the phone booths and Service Factory is building and configuring the underlying WLAN network.

Record growth around the mobile workplace

The increased demand for wireless Internet connections is strongly linked to the fact that more and more people want to be able to work outside their office. Telia’s 2007 Summer Trends Survey indicated that 89 percent of the Swedish people are planning to work outside the office sometime during the summer, an increase of 15 percent, compared with last year. One out of two Swedes (53 percent) are planning to work outside the office as many as one to three days a week.

“Wireless access to the Internet provides greater flexibility in both private life and working life. As a leading provider of nationwide broadband service, our growth is being driven by our continued focus on services of the future and developing products that meet our customer’s needs,” ends Erik Hallberg.

About the Telia Summer Trends Survey 2007

For the fourth consecutive year, Telia has conducted an online survey of its customers in Sweden to poll them about summer working trends. A total of 1,710 people participated in the 2007 survey. The respondents included managing directors, IT managers and other employees at companies of varying size with ten to more than 500 employees. All of Sweden is represented in the survey, which was conducted May 16-25, 2007.