Joint network allows fast 4G, even in remote areas
DNA joined forces with TeliaSonera in August to build a fast mobile phone network with good coverage in areas that were previously beyond its reach. This significantly improves the foundations for existing and future virtual operators using DNA's network.
DNA joined forces with TeliaSonera in August to build a mobile phone network in eastern and northern Finland. The result is a fast network with good coverage, even in areas that were previously beyond its reach. This significantly improves the foundations for existing and future virtual operators using DNA's network. DNA is the market leader in mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) services in Finland.
The area where the network is being built,covers half of all Finland's land area but it is home to only 15 per cent of the population, so it is sensible to share expensive network investments. The advantages will also be experienced by the customers, promises DNA's CEO, Jukka Leinonen.
"The use of mobile data will continue to grow exponentially. However, this usage is fundamentally mobile so customers expect mobility, whether they are travelling on business or for pleasure. This is the equation that we set out to solve: we wanted to provide fast services with consistent quality all over the country and to a demanding schedule."
According to Leinonen, both operators are able to serve their customers better on a joint network. Users will experience the benefits of increased efficiency in terms of higher network quality, faster connections and prompt construction. The operators have worked together to produce the network infrastructure but in commercial terms, competition for customers will only become more intense.
Unique joint venture
The joint network is unique to Finland and to the world. It is unique in the sense that it covers a very large geographical area and that the operators will not be left with overlapping networks in eastern and northern Finland.
"When the government approved changes to the operating permits, joint construction was allowed for all radio technologies. In other words, we are building an entirely new network using 2G, 3G and 4G technologies. The network and services will improve whether customers are using the latest smartphone or a GSM phone that is several years old," says Antti Jokinen, CEO of Finnish Shared Network Ltd.
Jokinen, who has previously worked as DNA's Production Director, has been preparing the network since August. According to Jokinen, the actual construction phase is likely to begin in April 2015 with the installation of the first base stations. The construction of basic infrastructure will continue well into the following year.
"Networks are never really finished: they are always being improved. By the end of 2016, all of Finland will be covered," Jokinen says. This unique coverage will surely also be in the interest of virtual operators since DNA is offering the increased amount of free capacity and improved coverage to new virtual operators as well.
The cornerstone of the joint network is the newest available base station technology. It improves the quality of service for all customers. Additionally, there will be more base station locations than any single operator has had until now. When this is combined with the joint usage of the radio spectrum managed by DNA and Sonera, the network will have unprecedented coverage and data transfer rates. The theoretical maximum speed of 4G is 150Mbit/s and it will genuinely be available to everyone, even in sparsely populated areas.
"Some of the benefits can be seen as a prompt pace of construction and consistent service all over Finland. It is in the national interest that we are creating a modern, efficient digital infrastructure for the entire country," says DNA's Jukka Leinonen.
The joint network also serves the objective of offering broadband to everyone. "People in remote rural areas are not willing to pay thousands of euros for fixed fibre circuits. Fast and highly cost-efficient mobile connections will create competitiveness and regional added-value – without public subsidies."