Sonera provides a tele-interpretation system to diversify the offering of interpretation services

TeliaSonera and the joint municipal authority for special services in Uusimaa (Uudenmaan erityispalvelut, UEP) have signed an agreement on the provision of a tele-interpretation system based on the services of Sonera and its subsidiary Cygate Oy. The primary users of the service are people speaking the sign language or having speaking problems.

The tele-interpretation system is a result of a development project which was launched in July last year and which also includes people from organizations representing the users of interpretation services. The same system is also used when interpretation help is needed with immigrants, refugees and other language minorities, such as Sami speakers.

Log-in on the Internet

The users of the tele-interpretation service log in to a database at www.etä, and the system then finds a suitable interpreter for them. The service can be used on a computer provided with a web camera, on a 3G phone and on a video conference device.

Tele-interpretation enhances the customer’s independence and equality

“The biggest advantage of tele-interpretation is that the service is available wherever you are. Nationwide on-duty service can also be implemented by the use of remote solutions. The efficiency of the providers of interpretation services will be improved, and more resources can be allocated to on-site interpretation,” says Timo Heiskala, Project Leader from UEP.

”The tele-interpretation service is a good example of the opportunities already provided by Sonera’s communications services. The geographical availability of the service will improve with new wireless broadband solutions. The interpretation service needs to operate without interruption, so the service has to be absolutely reliable,” says Batu Karasar, Senior Vice President of TeliaSonera Business Services Finland.

The service is based on Sonera's data and mobile services, authentication, security services and Contact Center service. The solution also comprises, for example, Cygate Oy’s video conference solutions, provided in cooperation with Tandberg and NWise.

“The tele-interpretation system is a unique social initiative that changes the ways of working and raises service ability to a new level,” says Ilkka Äyräväinen, CEO of Cygate Oy. “A highly demanding integration project like this brings the best out of Cygate’s profound technology competence.”

After the project, a nationwide service
The Etä project was launched in July 2007 and lasts until the end of 2009. The project is managed by the joint municipal authority for special services in Uusimaa (UEP). Funding is provided by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, local authorities and joint municipal authorities. The total budget for the pilot is about 1.3 million euros.

The project’s key tasks include creating a model, architecture and technical specifications for connections and equipment, so that the solution can be expanded into a nationwide service during the pilot.

Further information:
www.etä (Finnish, English, Swedish)

TeliaSonera Finland, Esa Salo, Head of Sales Area Uusimaa, TeliaSonera, tel. +358 40 302 2372; email:

Joint municipal authority for special services in Uusimaa (Uudenmaan erityispalvelut, UEP), Timo Heiskala, Project Leader, tel. +358 20 762 7050, email:

Cygate Oy, Ilkka Äyräväinen, CEO, tel. +358 40 302 2049, email:

Cygate Oy is a TeliaSonera subsidiary that designs, builds, maintains and controls network solutions. Cygate is a specialist organization independent of equipment manufacturers and has offices in Espoo, Jyväskylä, Kouvola, Oulu, Tampere and Turku.