TeliaSonera Triggers a Debate on "Universal Services"
TeliaSonera's Finnish unit unveils plans to migrate fixed-line customers in sparsely populated areas to its mobile network.
TeliaSonera's Finnish unit, Sonera, is to begin migrating customers from its fixed network to its wireless units as it aims to discontinue fixed services in sparsely populated areas. In a move that could trigger a review of the European Union (EU)'s definition of "Universal Access", Sonera said it will switch over to modern and cost-effective wireless technology (mobile and Digita’s @450 broadband), while ensuring that it meets the conditions outlined by the Finnish Ministry of Transport and Communications for the change of technology. The Ministry, in its report entitled People’s Phone—from Fixed-Line Telephones to Mobile Phones, set 12 conditions for the migration of telecoms services from fixed to wireless networks.
In a statement, Sonera said it had submitted its plan to the ministry, seeking approval to effect the migration. Sonera indicated that it undertakes to maintain its customers' current voice and broadband services until a wireless solution replacing the services is available. “Instead of spending millions of euros to replace hundreds of thousands of telephone poles that are approaching the end of their lifecycle, Sonera has decided to invest in modern, wireless technology," said Juha-Pekka Weckström, senior vice-president of TeliaSonera Broadband Services Finland. "This allows us to safeguard the continuity of our customers’ telecom services in sparsely-populated areas, and we are convinced that the customers will notice the benefits of the change," he added.
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