iPhone 5 4G support comes to Norway as Lumia 920 signals Nokia resurgence

Nokia makes headway in Norway as Telenor lands Apple support for the iPhone 5 on its LTE network.

Norway's largest mobile carrier Telenor has finally secured iPhone 5 4G support for its LTE network which uses 2600Mhz spectrum and, for iOS devices, the all-important 1800Mhz band .

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iPhone 5 4G support for the network was enabled last weekend, shortly after Telenor launched a new LTE base station in a northern Norwegian town, Tromsø, which became its seventeenth location in the country. Telenor began its roll out last October , lagging behind the LTE deployment of its smaller rival, Telia-owned Netcom.

With the iOS 6.1 release on 28 January, Apple announced 36 additional LTE carriers that it now supports. But while Telia and Three in Denmark swiftly landed iPhone 5 4G support, carriers in Norway and Sweden, which delivered the world's first LTE networks back in 2009, missed out.

Telenor Norway said last weekend it is now the only carrier in the country that offers 4G mobile broadband for the iPhone 5, iPad 4 and iPad Mini.

Bjørn Amundsen, Telenor's VP and director of coverage, told ZDNet that LTE support was extended with iOS 6.1.2, but only for LTE networks operating at 1800 Mhz, not 2600Mhz. Telenor operates its LTE network using both spectrum bands.

Only last week, Telenor's CEO Berit Svendsen complained about the time it was taking Apple to release a software update that would allow Telenor to sell 4G-enabled iOS devices as 4G devices, according to Telecoms.com.

Lumia, Android take share from iOS on Netcom

Meanwhile, Telia's Norwegian brand Netcom — which has about 26 percent of Norway's mobile market and is the second-placed operator behind Telenor — says that the Lumia 920 has helped Nokia scrape into February's top 10 selling list (at tenth) after a five-month absence. Three percent of the phones sold in February were running Windows Phone 8, according to the operator.

The Lumia 920 was also Telenor Norway's tenth most popular selling device in February. Together with Netcom's rankings, the details fill a gap in larger consumer research reports which often omit figures specific to Scandinavia, which collectively has a population of roughly 20 million.

Netcom said Windows Phone and Android both grew market share in February. The iPhone 5's share of sales slid from 62 percent in January to 53 per cent in February, it said. Apple's iPhone 5 is still the top seller, however, followed by Samsung's Galaxy S3 and iPhone 4S in third.

Telia in Sweden does not report monthly device sales rankings. However, Telia Denmark has also reported Lumia 920 as its tenth biggest seller in February. Sonera, the Finnish brand of the TeliaSonera group, perhaps less surprisingly reported the top seller in February was Nokia's Lumia 800, ahead of Apple's iPhone 5 and, in third place, Nokia's Lumia 820.

Sonera's February top 10 in Finland (with last month's position in brackets)

  1. (1) Nokia Lumia 800
  2. (2) Apple iPhone 5
  3. (3) Nokia Lumia 820
  4. (6) Nokia C2-01
  5. (4) Nokia Lumia 920
  6. (5) Apple iPhone 4S
  7. (9) Samsung Galaxy Gio
  8. (7) Samsung Galaxy Xcover
  9. (8) Nokia Lumia 900
  10. (10) Samsung Galaxy SIII

Netcom's February top 10 in Norway

  1. (1) Apple iPhone 5
  2. (2) Samsung Galaxy S III
  3. (3) Apple iPhone 4S
  4. (5) Apple iPhone 4
  5. (4) Samsung Galaxy S II
  6. (9) Sony Xperia V
  7. (6) Samsung Galaxy Note II
  8. (-) Samsung Galaxy S III Mini
  9. (7) Sony Xperia Go
  10. (-) Nokia Lumia 920

Telia's February top 10 sellers in Denmark