Improved mobile coverage on ferries between Finland and Sweden

Sonera and its co-operators have completed a project resulting in better mobile coverage inside the ferries between Finland and Sweden. Sonera’s extensive network of base stations along the shores ensures a strong signal everywhere on the Finland – Sweden route. In addition to Sonera, Elisa, DNA, ÅMT, Tele2, Telia and Vodafone Sweden offer GSM coverage on the ferries.

Passengers travelling by ferry to and from Sweden had long had a problem: their mobile connections did not function inside the ships. Anyone wanting to make a call or send an SMS had to go out on the deck or at least stand by a window. However, as a result of two years of co-operation, operators are now able to offer GSM coverage everywhere inside the ferries.

In addition to passengers, also the staff onboard benefit from the improved coverage. Before, it was useless to try to use a mobile phone, say, in the engine room but now even people working in there have equal GSM services at their disposal.

The participating ferry operators are Silja Line, Viking Line and Eckerö Line, and Birka Line is joining them later. GSM connections function seamlessly on the companies’ services between Helsinki and Stockholm, Turku and Stockholm and Åland and Stockholm. Besides Sonera, GSM coverage is offered onboard by Elisa, DNA, Ålands Mobiltelefon, Tele2, Telia and Vodafone Sweden, whose roaming agreements ensure GSM services for passengers during their entire journey.

”Good coverage everywhere on the Finland – Sweden route and inside the ferries is a major improvement, which benefits both our customers and our staff. We have already received a lot of positive feedback from our passengers who are happy to be reachable and able to attend to their affairs normally while they are onboard”, praises Tuomas Nylund, SVP Corporate Communications of Silja Line.

In practice, onboard coverage is provided by building a common antenna network on each ferry and setting up repeaters for each mobile operator. The signal reaches the ferries from either mainland or island-based base stations and is repeated inside with cables and antennas. Base stations have not been built onboard and the service provided by each operator depends on the coverage of the base stations on the coast. At this stage, the improved coverage only regards GSM services.

”Thanks to our extensive base station coverage, Sonera has great coverage on all the routes and our customers have reliable mobile connections at their disposal during their entire journey”, says Head of Department Timo Hietalahti of TeliaSonera Finland.

For more information, please contact:

Timo Hietalahti, Head of Radio Planning Department, TeliaSonera Finland Oyj
Mobile: + 358 400 437713