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TeliaSonera reports growth in Q1 profit

TeliaSonera has one message for the operator community: "Don’t bother with LTE trials, just deploy it.”

TeliaSonera, which became the world’s first commercial LTE operator at the end of 2009, has reported a six per cent increase year on year for first quarter profit. The firm recorded net income for January to March of SEK4.72bn (€489m), compared to SEK4.44bn for the first quarter of 2009. Revenue for the firm, which operates in the Nordic and Baltic regions, central Asia and the Far East was down year on year by four per cent.

“In the first quarter we managed to grow revenues in local currencies again,” said president and CEO Lars Nyberg. “It is encouraging that growth can be seen across several of our markets. Eurasia continues to be our growth engine, with a revenue growth of more than twelve percent in local currencies. This was twice as high as in the fourth quarter last year and was achieved with maintained high profitability.”

In Sweden, where the firm is the incumbent, growth and profitability remain robust, Nyberg said, driven by mobility services. “For the first time in several quarters, Finland and Denmark reported positive revenue growth in local currencies, as a result of strong growth in data usage and higher equipment sales,” he added.

Stockholm and Oslo were the sites of the firm’s pioneering LTE deployments towards the close of 2009 and the firm now plans to expand its 4G networks to 25 Swedish and four Norwegian cities. It has also been awarded spectrum for 4G service deployment in Finland and has plans to bid in Denmark and its Baltic markets.

Nyberg said that the firm believes that “now is the time to selectively increase our investments in bandwidth,” although stressed that TeliaSonera has been cautious with its investments so far in 2010 as it has waited for reliable signs of growth.


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