TeliaSonera looking to EDGE to cut 3G rollout costs

22 Jan 2004

Nordic telecoms giant TeleSonera has said that the rollout of its Swedish 3G network will be delayed unless the terms of its licence are changed to allow it to use an alternative, cheaper technology to UMTS. Local media reports have quoted the telco’s chief executive Anders Igel as saying that UMTS is too expensive to be used to cover the more vast, sparsely populated areas of the country and suggesting that it would make more sense to use EDGE technology instead. EDGE is slower than UMTS and often referred to as a 2.5G technology. It is, however, significantly cheaper because it utilises existing GSM networks, rather than requiring a whole new infrastructure to be installed. Igel claims that using EDGE technology would allow the company to make use of existing base stations, while using UMTS technology would require several thousand new stations to be installed at a cost of around SKR1 million each.