Elisa will begin building a 5G-ready network in Turku and its surroundings by March 2018. The new network will be faster and more reliable.
At the moment, fifth generation networks and services are being developed all over the world. Last week, Elisa was the first in world to test 5G terminal devices in pre-standard 5G network.
Elisa will renew its mobile network in the Turku region by making it 5G-ready. In the project, base station hardware that is currently used in the mobile network will be replaced with the latest technology. The construction of the network will start in March, and it will be finished by the end of May.
“Over the course of spring, we are going to build a 5G-ready network using the latest technology available in the Turku region. It means that in the future, it will be easy to add features required in 5G services to the network, for instance, considerably faster data transfer speeds, short delay and functionalities needed in the Internet of Things,” says Juha Laukkanen, Elisa’s Regional Director for western Finland.
For two years, Elisa has been testing technology that is used in 5G networks of the future, as well as pre-commercial applications. The latest test took place at the beginning of February, when applications of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) were tested in the first 5G network implemented with pre-commercial terminal devices.
Turku is the second city in Finland to have this extensive modern network.
“We are among the global pioneers of the development of 5G technology. These kinds of networks and services that are based on them are being intensely developed everywhere in the world. I’m certain that the first pre-commercial 5G services will be seen already in 2018,” Laukkanen continues.
The new mobile network will immediately benefit people living in the area. It enables faster and more reliable network connections that enhance the use of digital services, such as sharing different kinds of content and large files, as well as watching videos and videoconferencing.
Foundation for a smart city
The network that is going to be built offers the opportunity to provide completely new digital services for city dwellers. At the same time, it creates new business opportunities for the companies in the region. Elisa takes part in a project called Wise City Turku by the City of Turku. It combines the objective of being a carbon-neutral region and the Smart City concept. Digitalisation is an essential facilitator, as well as data produced by it. Thanks to the 5G technology, transfer speed will increase many times over.
“It’s great that Elisa is going to renew the mobile network in the Turku economic region. At the same time, it supports the development of the business sector in the area. This ensures that in the future, new and even better digital services can be developed for people living in the city. Examples could be nursing services at home, services related to guiding and traffic, as well as services linked to improving energy efficiency,” says Jussi Vira, Strategy and Development Director of the City of Turku.