Sonera reviews timetable for the fixed network

Next year, Sonera will replace 3,500 fixed-line telephones in rural areas with quality checked wireless solutions, as previously communicated. For the remaining rural network Sonera will review the timetable in order to allow alternative technologies and financing models more time to develop.

“As regards the remaining 35,000 fixed-line customers, we have decided to extend the schedule of the technology change in their case. The services of these 20,000 fixed-line voice customers and 15,000 broadband customers will remain unchanged at least until the end of 2010,” says Juha-Pekka Weckström, Senior Vice President of TeliaSonera Broadband Services Finland.

By delaying the implementation, Sonera wishes to ensure that the actions it has planned are in line with the government’s broadband programme. According to the policy lines set by the government, public funding can be used when the target level of the broadband programme cannot be achieved commercially, and Sonera finds this development very positive.

Sonera has about 40,000 km of old wired network in sparsely populated areas. As previously announced, during spring 2009 the company will dismantle 10,000 km of the network which is in the worst shape and up to three-fourths of which is by now vacant of customers. The change affects 3,500 fixed-line telephone customers, whose voice services Sonera will ensure even in the future by migrating them securely and in a controlled manner to the mobile network. No fixed-line subscription will be dismantled before it has been ensured that the services operate flawlessly.

Sonera’s mobile network now covers approximately 97% of Finland’s total area and almost 100% of the Finnish population. Coverage will improve this year by another 40 base stations in rural areas and next year by 60 new UMTS 900 base stations in sparsely populated areas and two entirely new base station towers at Kätkävaara and Fiskö.

Further information:
Juha-Pekka Weckström, Senior Vice President, TeliaSonera Broadband Services Finland
Tel.: +358 (0)400 564 754