2019-12-14: Today is a special day for 4G, Telia Company and the global telecom industry. Ten years ago, the world’s first 4G network – in Stockholm and belonging to Telia – was launched. Now, 5G is here (almost).
The last decade has seen some unprecedented technological development and now 5G is commercially just around the corner across Telia’s footprint in the Nordics and Baltics.
But it took a while for 4G to really kick off in Sweden. During the first year it only accounted for a modest 2 percent of the data traffic in Telia’s network. It wasn’t until Apple launched the first 4G iPhone model in October 2013 that things really started to happen. In 2014, 4G accounted for almost half the data traffic. In 2018 the figure had doubled to 92 percent.
The buzz right now globally is about 5G and Swedes have generally heard about it. But according to a survey only one in three really know what the next generation mobile networks should be used for. Four out of then expect faster data speeds and every third person expects new handsets and gadgets with updated features.
“The survey confirms the image of Swedes as comfortable around tech. But as always, ahead of big technological shifts, it is kind of hard to exactly tell what the new stuff actually means. Even though we will have 5G handsets, tablets and services at an earlier stage compared to 4G, we will probably see a somewhat cautious start which at a later stage will explode in ways we can only imagine,” says Anders Olsson, CEO of Telia Sweden.
While consumers haven’t gone all-in on 5G yet, Swedish enterprises seem to be more optimistic.
“5G will in the long term be absolutely crucial for future business models, new innovations and Sweden's competitiveness. We have already seen several examples of exciting new applications within the framework of our partner program with Boliden, Volvo CE and Ericsson among others. We will continue working closely with our customers to ensure that they always have access to the latest technology and to support them throughout the digitalization journey,” says Anders Olsson.
The question about when 5G actually will be launched in Sweden, is yet to be answered. The Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS) has announced that it will postpone the assignment of frequencies which was originally planned for Q1 2020.
“It’s an unfortunate decision especially in the light of other countries being far ahead of us. Day by day Swedish businesses are increasingly left behind. Sweden was the number one 4G country globally and thanks to that we are a forerunner in digital development. A further 5G delay would only have a negative impact on the competitiveness of the Swedish industry. I believe and hope that PTS will solve this as quickly as possible. As soon as the frequencies have been assigned, we will launch 5G to ensure that Sweden stays at the forefront of digitalization,” says Anders Olsson.
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