Ålcom, one of Europe’s smallest operators, has teamed up with Ericsson for an interoperability demonstration using 5G New Radio technology.
The operator trades on the Åland Islands, an autonomous region in the south west of Finland and the country’s only Swedish speaking area. The Baltic Sea islands have a population of around 30,000 people.
Trials were held by the telcos last week using the 3.5GHz band to test 5G capabilities in rural, urban and maritime contexts. Ericsson supplies Ålcom with its LTE network equipment including radio and core hardware.
Ålcom said it would use the findings of the trials in preparing its own 5G rollout, products and services.
Jonas Sundborg, Chairman of Ålcom, said: “We want to be prepared for the next technology. It’s good for us to be on board and get the experience for what 5G is capable of and what value it can offer our customers.”
He added: “We see 5G first of all as an enhancement to the existing mobile broadband usage with higher data rates and lower latency. 5G will enable much broader communication between people, machines and devices. But we also see new opportunities to broaden applications for example in factories and 5G-based communication with ferries and cruise ships in our harbours.”
In the latest edition of its Mobility Report, Ericsson said last month that there would be one billion 5G connections by 2023, the equivalent of 12 percent of total connections.