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Telenor to launch first 5G pilot in Western Norway

Press release   •   Jul 10, 2019 06:30 BST

(Flokeneset, 10 July 2019) Telenor today announced that a new 5G pilot will be built at Flokeneset in the municipality of Askvoll. This is the first 5G pilot in Western Norway.

“We are focused on testing and learning as much as possible about 5G during the course of 2019, and we have spent a lot of time looking for perfect test sites. Flokeneset is a community located between high mountains and deep fjords. As we already have fibre and base stations in the area, in addition to a number of enthusiastic locals, there is no doubt about it that Flokeneset is an ideal location to test new applications of the 5G network,” says Sigve Brekke, President and CEO of Telenor Group.

Telenor today met with local politicians and businesses in the area communicating the company’s major plans for the municipality of Askvoll.

“The demands and expectations for digital solutions are steadily increasing. We will get smarter homes, smarter businesses, smarter cities and rural areas. 5G technology will be the most important platform both to meet these expectations and to facilitate innovation in Norway. This is why Telenor is now investing heavily in modernising the national infrastructure for digital communication. The municipality of Askvoll is one of the areas where we will test and learn together with businesses and residents,” says Brekke.

Telenor will ensure that people, businesses and the public sector are all connected to a stable, secure and fast network. This is why both the fixed network and mobile network are being modernised. With a 5G pilot in place, customers within the coverage area will get the opportunity to be transferred from copper network services to the 5G network. Customers outside the coverage area will be offered new and more modern solutions over the 4G network.

The world’s most beautiful 5G pilot?
The municipality of Askvoll is a bridge between land and sea, and is centrally located on the Sogn og Fjordane coastline. The natural landscape is renowned for its deep fjords and steep mountains, which means that Telenor will – for the very first time – have the opportunity to test 5G in fjords and at sea.

“The Førde fjord is around 300 metres deep. Instead of only laying underwater cables on the seabed of the fjord, we will now test the effect of transmitting 5G signals at sea. It is important for us to test how 5G works outside the big cities where the topography is more varied,” says Brekke.

Ole André Klausen, Mayor of Askvoll, is excited about the opportunities that 5G will open up for residents.

“We have been part of an ongoing dialogue with Telenor over a longer period of time and are very pleased that we can finally confirm that 5G is coming to Askvoll. This area has been inhabited for more than 6000 years, and we have never stood still. With 5G, we will be able to make use of advanced technology that will simplify daily life for both people and businesses,” says Klausen.

Major investments in Hordaland and Sogn og Fjordane
In addition to the 5G pilot in Askvoll, Telenor has large expansion plans for both Sogn og Fjordane and the neighbouring county of Hordaland.

“In the municipality of Gulen, we have major ambitions to improve fibre and mobile coverage. Telenor has won a tender to expand fibre to large parts of the municipality and we are also investing substantially in the neighbouring municipality. In Masfjorden, Telenor has won both public tenders, which has resulted in an expansion of fibre, providing coverage to almost 100 per cent of the municipality,” says Arne Quist Christensen, Head of Modernisation at Telenor.

Similarly, in the municipality of Osterøy in Hordaland, home to just over 8000 residents distributed across 3000 households, Telenor has had a strong focus on improving fibre and mobile coverage.

“We are currently engaged in a project to deliver fibre to 2760 households in Osterøy and we are working on a daily basis to improve coverage. Yesterday, we signed a letter of intent to build another seven mobile base stations. This will ensure the residents of Osterøy far better coverage than they have today,” says Christensen.

About the 5G pilot in Flokeneset

  • 5G is the next generation mobile network that will initially provide users with faster speeds than 4G, and ensure that each individual base station can handle more traffic.
  • Telenor will install 5G into the base stations at Flokeneset in order to test 5G as a replacement for copper-based fixed network broadband (ADSL and VDSL).
  • The 5G pilot will also reach some customers in the municipality of Naustdal who are within the 5G coverage area.
  • Testing with customers will take place from September 2019 until the end of the year – with the option of an extension.
  • The experiences gained from the pilot will influence Telenor’s rollout of 5G commercially from 2020 onwards.

About the expansion plans in the municipality of Osterøy:
The municipality of Osterøy, home to just over 8000 residents and 3000 households, has great ambitions to improve fibre and mobile coverage in the municipality. To facilitate this, Telenor has been in close dialogue with the municipality resulting in the ongoing expansion to 2760 households and a recently signed collaborative agreement to construct a further seven mobile stations. On Monday 8 July, the Mayor Jarle Skeidsvoll met with Telenor Group CEO Sigve Brekke at Telenor’s offices in Kokstad, Bergen. On the agenda was a review of the projects, as well as the municipality’s thoughts on the importance of good infrastructure.

About the expansion plans in the municipality of Masfjorden:
With around 1700 residents and 700 households, the municipality of Masfjorden has a clear aim of improving fibre and mobile coverage in the area. Telenor has won the right to implement a major project for the expansion of fibre to almost 100 per cent of the municipality. The project received a very positive response from residents, 75 per cent of whom have already signed up. On Monday 8 July, Telenor Group CEO Sigve Brekke met with Mayor Karstein Totland at the town hall to review the project.

About the expansion plans in the municipality of Gulen:
The municipality of Gulen has more than 2300 residents and almost 1000 households. Telenor has won the right to implement a major project for the expansion of fibre to a substantial part of the municipality. The project has received a very positive response from residents and 80 per cent have already signed up. On Monday 8 July, Telenor Group CEO Sigve Brekke met with Mayor Hallvar Oppedal at the town hall to review the project.

Telenor will also launch a pilot in Gulen to secure a more robust mobile network. The pilot will open up the option of linking individual mobile station to two points in the core network. This means that the mobile network becomes more robust and the likelihood of larger outages is significantly reduced.

Telenor Norge AS is Norway's largest provider of telecommunications and digital services. Our infrastructure is the foundation for digitising Norway, with its world-class coverage and high speeds. Our services and products contribute to increased productivity and provide access to everything that the digital world has to offer. Our services and products help to improve productivity and provide access to all digital content. Our security and preparedness organisation works around the clock to keep our customers safe, and we are particularly aware of our social responsibility to provide security and safety for children and young people online.

We employ 3400 people in 23 offices across Norway and we are a part of the Telenor Group, which has operations in 12 countries. Our main office is located on Fornebu in Baerum.