European operator Telia claimed to “kick off the 5G era” by launching a pre-commercial network in Finland’s capital Helsinki, as it gears up for its official launch next year.
The company said in a statement the 5G network was operating on test frequencies issued by the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority, and launched today (5 September) at the company’s 5G Arena in the city.
With the first base stations now operational, its initial phase of the rollout will continue during the Autumn, with “full-scale commercial operation possible in 2019” following the completion of the country’s 3.5GHz 5G auction.
The company however noted that “5G growth is also dependent on availability of standard compliant 5G devices, like modems, tablets and mobile phones by terminal manufacturers”.
Keeping its promise
Telia said the move keeps the company on track to stick to CEO Johan Dennelind’s promise, made two years ago, to launch 5G in Helsinki in 2018.
“For two years we have prepared 5G with demos and trial,” added Jari Collin, CTO at Telia Finland. “We set up the 5G Finland cooperation network to create and pilot 5G services with our partners and now we can continue exploring the possibilities of 5G in a real live network.”
Telia is partnering with fellow Finnish player Nokia for its 5G rollout.
5G hype is ramping up in Europe after Telecom Italia this week declared a first for the next-generation of mobile technology, stating it had switched on Europe’s first antenna compliant with the latest 3GPP specifications in San Marino, also in partnership with Nokia.
In May, Deutsche Telekom said it had deployed the first 5G antennas on the continent in Berlin, based on non-standalone 3GPP standards.
But, while Europe continues its 5G efforts, the US is still expected to commercially launch 5G networks first, at the end of this year.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back