Swedish group Tele2 has chosen Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) as sole network supplier for the rollout of 4G LTE mobile broadband technology across Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. In addition to providing Tele2 with LTE radio and core networks in all three Baltic countries, NSN will also modernise and expand Tele2’s 2G and 3G networks using a Single Radio Access Network (RAN) and Liquid Core technology for 2G/3G/4G traffic. The contract includes NSN’s Flexi Multiradio base stations, multi controller radio network controllers and base station controllers, as well as voice core network elements including its Liquid Core-based open Mobile Switching Centre Server and open Media Gateway. In addition, the Finnish vendor is providing its Evolved Packet Core platform, including Flexi NS (network server), Flexi NG (network gateway) and Liquid Core-based SGSN (serving GPRS support node).
The replacement of Tele2’s 2G/3G radio and core networks across the Baltics is expected to take two years, while the cost of the project was undisclosed. In Estonia, it was reported locally that upgrading of base stations will begin immediately, with 4G-enabled cell sites in Tallinn and Harju County to be replaced as soon as the end of April, while the mobile broadband infrastructure will also be expanded to sites that only supported 2G to date. As part of its preparations to support the high speed transmission of data traffic nationwide, in February Tele2 bought Eesti Energia’s fibre-optic network for EUR25 million (USD33 million), boosting its base station backhaul capabilities. In Lithuania, it was also reported that Tele2’s mobile network upgrade project was beginning straight away, including the planned replacement of all of Tele2 Lithuania’s 870 GSM base stations, upgrading its 428 W-CDMA/HSPA base stations, and implementing an all-IP backhaul/core network for 2G/3G/4G.