Tele2 to launch 4G-only network in the Netherlands

Sweden-based operator Tele2 has announced it is to launch a 4G-only network in the Netherlands at the beginning of 2015. The move will mark the telco’s transformation from an MVNO to an MNO in the Dutch market.

Tele2 will begin its 4G roll-out first to cover an area stretching from Rotterdam to Amsterdam, then continuing across the rest of the country. The entire project is expected to be completed by the end of March 2016.

Until now, the Tele2 Netherlands has acted as an MVNO in the Dutch market, and it claimed to be the world’s first provider to be launching a 4G-only network. The operator said this, as well as its site-sharing agreement with T-Mobile, ensures it is able to offer a very challenging proposal to increase competition in the country.

“Over the past two years the team at Tele2 has been focused on building the best performing 4G network in the Netherlands, with the ambition of giving our customers a mobile experience that secures their lifetime loyalty,” Jeff Dodds, CEO of Tele2 Netherlands said.

“Thanks to our extremely low setup and operating costs, we believe Tele2 is in the best possible position to challenge the incumbent Dutch operators, in a market where 4G is still considered by consumers to be an expensive premium service and price levels for mobile data remain amongst the highest in Europe.”

Meanwhile Tele2 has also announced its intention of increasing its 4G network coverage to 90% of the entire Baltic population by the end of next year. This year, the telco has carried out a network modernisation programme in the region’s states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, and claimed it has created the most up-to-date mobile network in the whole of the Baltics.

The operator has licences for the 800, 900, 1800 and 2100 MHz frequency bands in all three countries, as well as 450 and 2300 MHz in Estonia, and 2600 MHz in Latvia and Lithuania.

“The Baltic region together with Sweden, are our next areas of growth for 4G/LTE services,” Niklas Sonkin, Tele2 EVP for Central Europe and Eurasia said. “The demand for mobile data in the Baltic region is tremendous and Tele2’s revenue from data services demonstrates rapid growth”.

The telco reported data revenue represented 24% of all service revenue in Estonia, 22% in Latvia and 12% in Lithuania in 2014.

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