Finland’s Ukko Mobile has contracted fellow Finnish firm Omnitele to design a new 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) wireless broadband network which will overlay its existing national CDMA-450 infrastructure. The commercial launch of the new LTE network is scheduled for autumn 2014, and Ukko Mobile claims that the launch will represent the world’s first commercial deployment of LTE using the 450MHz band.
According to its company website, Ukko Mobile – which is controlled by management firm Ukkoverkot Ltd – received its 450MHz concession on 8 May 2014, and already claims coverage of 99.9% of the Finnish population with CDMA-450 services courtesy of the legacy network it has inherited.
TeleGeography says that the 450MHz licence now held by Ukko Mobile (including frequencies originally used by analogue NMT mobile services) was awarded in 2005 to Finnish broadcaster Digita, which launched a 450MHz Flash-OFDM wireless broadband network in April 2007, and expanded coverage to 99% of the population. Digita transferred the management of its 450MHz network in March 2011 to another Finnish company, Datame (owned by a group of twelve investors including Finnish regional telcos and cooperatives). In 2012 the Flash-OFDM technology was overlaid with a CDMA-450 network by Datame, before Ukko Mobile subsequently took over the reigns this year and began developing its plans for LTE rollout.