In our first look at the 5G experience in Norway, we found a mobile network experience landscape characterized by extreme competition. Out of six awards for the taking, five award categories resulted in a tie between Telenor and Telia, with the remaining one — 5G Games Experience — being the only category featuring an outright winner, Telia.
Telenor and Telia launched their commercial 5G services in March and May 2020, respectively. However, since their initial launches, Norwegian operators have acquired additional 5G spectrum across multiple frequency bands.
In October 2021, Norway’s National Communications Authority (Nkom) auctioned a total of 590 MHz
across the 2.6 GHz and 3.6 GHz bands. Nkom previously allocated the 2.6 GHz band to mobile operators in 2007
, for 15 years. Telenor secured 80 MHz in the 2.6 GHz band and 120 MHz in the 3.6 GHz band, while Telia acquired 60 MHz and 100 MHz in the two spectrum bands, respectively. Norway’s third mobile operator ICE secured an 80 MHz block in the 3.6 GHz band. Broadband and IPTV player Altibox
acquired a 50 MHz block of TDD spectrum in the 2.6 GHz band as well as 100 MHz in the 3.6 GHz band as part of an effort to expand its fiber network with fixed wireless broadband over 5G. However, not all of this new spectrum can be deployed immediately: the 3.6 GHz band will be released from 1 January 2022
, while 2.6 GHz allocations will become usable from 1 January 2023.
Nevertheless, earlier this year Nkom launched a consultation on the opening up of the 3.8-4.2 GHz spectrum band for local 5G networks. Having received positive feedback from interested parties, Nkom is planning to open applications for this additional spectrum in the 3.8-4.2 GHz band in the first half of 2022.
In this 5G Experience report, we analyzed our users' 5G experience in Norway over 90 days starting on August 1, 2021, ending on October 29, 2021. We included the two national operators that had launched 5G commercially before our data collection period — Telenor and Telia — as ICE launched its 5G commercial network afterwards, in November 2021.