The world's first commercial LTE (Long-Term Evolution) networks launched today in the central parts of Stockholm and Oslo, according to operator TeliaSonera.
The first small batch of modems from Samsung are set to go on sale on Tuesday, and TeliaSonera will elaborate on pricing during a news conference later on Monday, a spokeswoman at TeliaSonera said.
The Samsung USB modem only supports LTE, so TeliaSonera's customers will need to use a second modem - either built into the computer or a separate USB dongle - to access the internet when they are not in an area covered by LTE.
See also: Mobile 4G moving closer
Normal download speeds are expected be between 20 Mbps (bits per second) and 80 Mbps, according to Johan Wibergh, senior vice president and head of Ericsson's business unit for networks. The speeds will, for example, be able to support HDTV on a big screen, he said.
Recently, US operator Verizon said its LTE network will deliver speeds between 5 Mbps and 12 Mbps. The difference in capacity is due to the fact that Verizon has 10 MHz of radio spectrum each for the uplink and the downlink, and TeliaSonera has 20 MHz for each channel, according to Wibergh
Ericsson and Huawei are both delivering equipment to TeliaSonera. Both vendors said the LTE networks in Oslo and Stockholm are the world's first to enter commercial service. Ericsson also has contracts to supply network infrastructure to Verizon and NTT DoCoMo, two other operators expected to launch early LTE services.
LTE is expected to be the next major standard in mobile broadband technology, and carriers have begun to convert their networks. Up to another 17 LTE networks are anticipated to be in service by the end of 2010 in the US, Canada, Japan, Norway, South Korea, South Africa, Sweden, Armenia and Finland, according to data from the Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA).