Sonera delays 3G service in Finland

  • 2002-09-05

The leading Finnish mobile phone operator Sonera said it would delay the commercial launch of next-generation mobile phone services, known as 3G, until the first quarter next year.

The 3G technology offers fast wireless Internet connections as well as audio and video streaming capabilities to compatible handsets.

Sonera has had a 3G test network covering four Finnish cities in operation since the beginning of this year and planned to open this for commercial use on Sept. 26, but now this is being postponed.

"We are not opening the network for consumers, the plans are now for a commercial launch in the first quarter of 2003," Pekka Keskiivari, vice president of Sonera, told AFP on Aug. 30.

He said there were still technological issues to be solved but declined to specify which.

Nokia, which planned to introduce its first mass market 3G phone at the same time, using Sonera's network, confirmed Aug. 30 that launch of the handset would take place as planned.

Sonera, controlled by the Finnish state which owns 52.8 percent, is set to merge with Swedish counterpart Telia later this year.

Earlier this year Sonera abandoned its 3G license in Norway and froze similar operations in Germany and Spain.