Telenor Group launched what it said was the first commercial 5G network in Norway, offering service in nine different locations across the country.

Customers with 5G-capable devices will be able to tap into the next generation network in Kongsberg, Elverum, Bodo, Askvoll, Fornebu, Kvitfjell, Longyearbyen, Trondheim, and the Spikersuppa neighbourhood in capital city Oslo.

Additional rollouts in Bergen, Stavanger and Sandnes, along with broader availability in Oslo will follow later this year, the operator said.

A company representative told Mobile World Live customers will not pay an additional fee for 5G access for the time being, but added “development of new subscriptions, prices, et cetera…is something that we will get back to in due course”.

Petter-Borre Furberg, Telenor Norway CEO, said in a statement the operator plans to upgrade nearly 2,000 base stations to 5G in 2021 as it continues to expand coverage. All told, it expects to convert a total of 8,500 base stations to the technology within the next four-to-five years, he noted.

Telenor Group president and CEO Sigve Brekke added it expects 5G “to be the key driver of transformation in this decade, and we are very much looking forward to continuing the roll-out of 5G to our customers”.

The launch comes just a few months after Telenor tapped Ericsson to deploy its 5G RAN in the country, in a move to scale-back its work with Chinese vendor Huawei.