Sonera’s migration to wireless services in sparsely-populated areas is proceeding

Sonera is determined to ensure smooth migration to wireless services in sparsely-populated areas. The company has preliminarily checked the coverage area of 46,000 customers and will now start to speed up the migration to wireless services by customer-specific offers. The customers will be informed this week of any compensations they may receive upon the termination of the service.

On February 15, 2009, Sonera will start to provide wireless voice services in sparsely-populated areas. The fixed-network services of customers with fixed broadband access will not terminate until on October 1, 2010 at the earliest. If customer’s municipality has made a Village Broadband agreement with Sonera, the change proceeds according to the agreement. “During the spring, we have agreed on the details of the migration with the Ministry of Transport and Communications Finland. This change is unavoidable, as rather large parts of Finland are so sparsely-populated that we simply can’t afford several overlapping networks,” says Juha-Pekka Weckström, Senior Vice President of TeliaSonera Broadband Services Finland.

Sonera recommends that its rural customers should switch over to mobile phone subscriptions already today, as mobile calls are more affordably priced than fixed-network calls and mobility adds to the ease of use. If they so want, the customers can use their current fixed-line telephones and most auxiliary devices wirelessly in future by means of a GSM adapter. "We’ll speed up the migration during this and next year with attractive offers. We have preliminarily checked the coverage area of almost all customers living in the areas affected by the change in technology, and we will offer them a solution that best meets their needs,” says Weckström.

Wireless broadband is the only way to bring broadband to every home in Finland. By the end of the summer, Digita’s @450 broadband network will cover 90% of the population and holiday homes. In the @450 network, Sonera acts as a service provider, offering broadband access of up to 1 Mbps. “In broadband, we are prepared for a longer transition period, as the transmission rates and coverage of wireless broadband networks will continue to grow rapidly during the next few years. The maximum rate of Sonera’s 3G network has already grown to 3.6 Mbps, and Digita also intends to increase the transmission rates of the @450 broadband network," Weckström says.

Sonera’s broadband and home telephone customers will this week receive a letter informing them of exchange offers, changes in the fixed network, and potential compensation upon the migration to wireless services. The customers can receive compensation for their phones, building costs and even generators bought for households without electricity. Sonera also supports broadband customers as regards the costs for modems, potential auxiliary antennas, and installation.

Sonera’s customers can check the accurate compensation amounts and read about the topical offers tailored according to the network coverage in their personal customer letters and on Sonera’s website at

For further information, please contact:
Juha-Pekka Weckström, Senior Vice President, TeliaSonera, Broadband Services Finland
Tel.: +358 400 564 754