Telenor is eyeing a “major investment” in 4G LTE after picking Ericsson to provide 2G, 3G and 4G LTE radio hardware.
The deal sees Ericsson deploy its multi-standard RBS6000 range of base stations, which can operate across GSM, WCDMA and LTE.
Telenor has more than 176 million customers across 13 markets, but only more than half a million customers on 4G LTE.
Hilde Tonne, EVP and Head of Group Industrial Development, Telenor Group said: “LTE will be one of the major investment areas for us in the coming years. This agreement will enable us to deliver a high quality customer experience and secure the most efficient networks possible for Telenor’s business units.
Earlier this year, Telenor Group CTO Frode Støldal told Mobile Europe the operator had to tear up its LTE plans in response to what frequencies the Apple iPhone 5s and 5c were compatible with.
The operator also faced issues in bringing 4G to rural areas of Norway, as it looked to make LTE available to 90 percent of the country by the end of 2015.
He said: “The biggest challenges, in some of these spaces, is backhaul. Being an incumbent with 150 years of history in this industry, we can utilise part of our fixed infrastructure to build backhaul to mobile base stations and to then deploy 4G LTE out to rural areas.”
The radio partnership is the latest project that Ericsson has carried out for a European operator. Last week, it revealed it had prepared Telefónica Germany’s network for the operator’s forthcoming voice over LTE service.