Swedes and Norwegians became the first mobile users to get access to 100Mbps network speeds as TeliaSonera launched the world's first commercial 4G services in Stockholm and Oslo.
The networks, based on Long Term Evolution (LTE), an extension of the current 3G GSM technology, were first hinted at early in the year at the World Mobile Conference.
For now, consumers will have to use dongles, made by Samsung, and laptops to access the 4G service. Mobile handsets that support LTE are expected in mid to late 2010.
TeliaSonera's president and head of mobility services Kenneth Karlberg said the use of mobile broadband in the Nordic countries was "exploding". "Customers need higher speeds and capacity," he said.
4G/LTE will open up applications that need high transmission speeds, such as high definition web TV, multi-player online gaming and web conferences.
The raw speed also makes the mobile network an alternative to fixed networks for data back-up applications, remote access to sophisticated cloud applications, and possibly backhaul links for remote communities.
TeliaSonera said Ericsson supplied the Stockholm 4G city network and Huawei the Oslo network. It was evaluating suppliers for its common 4G core network and radio networks in the Nordic and Baltic countries. It expected to select suppliers early in 2010.