December 8, 2021

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Information and communication technology, transportation |  Next year, the copper network will close: 100,000 customers on wireless broadband

Information and communication technology, transportation | Next year, the copper network will close: 100,000 customers on wireless broadband

Before the new year, more than 100,000 customers will have wireless broadband service. Over the next year, there will be over 100 years of Copper Grid history.

At the beginning of 2019, Telenor began in earnest to dismantle the copper network to get customers into something new and better by December 31, 2022.

There is now only about one year left until all of our customers in Norway have switched to convenient and durable mobile and fiber solutions, CEO Petter-Børre Furberg of Telenor Norway says in a press release.

critical

The copper grid is on the rise and has served Norwegian society for 100 years. During this long period of service, the web has become obsolete.

We note this, for example, in the fact that 10 percent of copper customers experience errors on landlines or broadband each year. Now that we’ve already moved a lot of clients, we’ve also noticed that we need to debug a lot less, says Voorberg.

Many errors in the weak copper network is one of the reasons why it is necessary to transfer everyone to broadband and voice over mobile and fiber network.

Customer controlled settlement

The copper network was important and in many cases the only option for Telenor customers. The network was originally built as a purely landline network. When broadband was introduced over the copper network in the late 1990s, the solution worked well at a time when the demand for speed and capacity wasn’t great. But with the launch of new solutions over fiber and mobile, many have chosen not to opt out of copper wiring.

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Furberg points to the numbers letter to emphasize that the settlement is customer driven:

The peak year for the copper network was 1996 when the number of fixed-line subscribers reached 2.4 million. There are now less than 91,000 customers on landlines and 83,000 on broadband, Voorberg explains.

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Close cooperation with municipalities and authorities

Forberg realizes that the transition from the land line known to many loved ones can be difficult.

– Therefore, we have spent a lot of time with customers who want new services within the company, and we have developed good alternative products for landlines. Replacing the copper grid is also being done in close cooperation with the municipalities. Forberg says their knowledge of local conditions is critical to us to ensure a smooth transition to new technologies.

To ensure that all customers get at least as good an offer as before, Telenor is investing 6 billion NOK this year, in both mobile and fiber connections where necessary.

The feedback from those switching to the new technology is almost unequivocal: Nobody wants to go back to the copper grid, says Voorberg.

Creating value for corporate customers

The update also applies to Telenor customers in the corporate market.

– They have more advanced services, and therefore we are following them closely in moving to a new solution. These customers today demand a lightning-fast, high-capacity network that operates 24/7. These are requirements that we cannot meet in any way with the old copper mesh. New development is a prerequisite for creating more value and growth for small and large businesses. When we now offer customers in the corporate market new services by December 31, 2022, it will be a huge boost for industry and the public sector, says Voorberg.

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Facts about the modernization work

  • In 2019, Telenor decided to phase out the copper network and provide customers with fiber and mobile offers. 4 years ago, there were more than 1 million customers of services over the copper network. Today, fewer than 250,000 customers remain. Customers who leave the copper network switch to fiber or mobile. The entire mobile network has been modernized with around 8,800 base stations, many of which are 5G ready. 30,000 km of fiber cable have been built since 2019.
  • More than half of customers who no longer have a copper network go to mobile. Everyone who opts for wireless broadband today gets 5G ready gear. Covered 5G can choose home broadband speeds of up to 500 Mbit/s.
  • This fall, the 3G network also shut down after serving Telenor and its customers since 2004. The free capacity in the previous 3G network would benefit 4G and 5G networks.

Source: Telenor Norway