Tele2, Telia to wind up 3G in Sweden to feed 4G demand

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Tele2 and Telia are working together to phase out their joint 3G network in Sweden, with plans to use the spectrum to bolster their respective LTE frequencies.

The two telcos own Sunab, a company that builds, owns and operates their 3G networks.

The companies said they are planning to gradually phase out 3G due to the "natural" evolution of customer activity.

[Read more: Telia leads in Swedish mobile market despite surge in Tele2 network quality]

Tele2 said it aims to start shifting its traffic over to its LTE network by the end of this year with the goal of completing the transition by the end of 2025. The gradual nature of the transition will mean customers will not be affected by the change, it claimed. Tele2 also added that network performance will be tracked during this process.

Tele2 has more than 6,000 3G base stations across Sweden that will either be reused for other network expansion or phased out entire, which it said would lead to cost and energy efficiencies. Last year, the company said that it wanted to explore more environmentally friendly approaches to network operations.

Samuel Skott, CEO Tele2 Sweden, said: "This initiative is further proof of Tele2's challenger spirit. The transition from 3G to 4G is completely in line with our network strategy to move away from legacy networks, and move towards next generation networks.

"As Sweden’s most energy efficient network provider, we are extremely proud to accelerate our development, and become even more economically and environmentally efficient."

Telia did not give any details about its own network plans.