updated 08:05 am EST, Mon December 14, 2009
TeliaSonera LTE network commercial
Scandinavian carrier TeliaSonera today claimed to be the first in the world with an active Long Term Evolution network. The 4G service, so far limited to Stockholm, Sweden and Oslo, Norway, gives mobile users speeds much faster than not just 3G but also WiMAX. At its theoretical peak, an LTE user can download at up to 100Mbps versus the roughly 10Mbps of its predecessors.
Real-world speeds are slower but are still fast enough to allow HD video streaming. Since LTE's latency is much lower than most 3G, it also permits two-way video calls, multiplayer gaming and other time-sensitive tasks.
The first device to use the network will be the Samsung GT-B3710, a USB modem that currently provides only 4G service. An upgrade with HSPA 3G and EDGE (2G) is due in the first half of next year. TeliaSonera so far plans to start expanding the network with a Finnish rollout in early 2010 as well as covering the 25 largest Swedish cities and 4 largest Norwegian cities throughout the course of the year.
In the US, the first carrier to adopt LTE should be Verizon's rollout towards mid-2010, followed by AT&T and T-Mobile in 2011.