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What is the difference between the mobile networks in Norway?

In Norway, we have three mobile networks, operated by Telenor, Telia and ICE.net, respectively. Each of these operates with a license from the Norwegian Post and Telecommunications Authority. All other telecom operators in Norway make use of the network for one or more of these companies. Consequently, there is competition between all the companies that provide mobile plans (billigste mobilabonnement) in Norway.

But what’s the difference between these?

 

Coverage
Previously, large coverage differences between Telenor and Telia (former NetCom) were often heard. Most operators have maps on their web pages where you can see where the “coverage holes” are.

Coverage map in Norway
Telia, Telenor and ICE.net have all maps on their websites, which show their coverage. You can see which networks different operators use on our comparison pages, under the name of the operator.

Telia
Here you can see where Telia, formerly called NetCom, (and operators using Telia’s network) has the best coverage. You can choose between GPRS / Edge (2G), 3G, 4G and 4G 1800 (used by some iPhone models).

Telenor
Telenor’s map, similar to Telia coverage, shows the different technologies like 2G, 3G and 4G. You can also search the spot and find out how good coverage it is where you live.

ICE.net
Sells mobile broadband, and uses some slightly different technologies than other telecom companies. The cover is considered to be very good, which also shows maps. A lot of people use the internet from Ice.net at the cabin. Ice.net has also provided networking to NSB to get internet coverage on the train.

Speed and technology

You hear a lot about 3G and 4G a day, but what does it really mean? New technologies are constantly evolving, which provides better speed on web browsing and quality of conversations.

GSM (2G)
GSM is the oldest technology that is still in use today, and is also the technology that has the best coverage. I use it over 200 countries and have been in use since the early nineties. Both calls, SMS, MMS and data traffic can be sent over 2G, but the speed will be significantly lower than with newer technologies.

UTMS (3G)
The biggest benefit of 3G for a consumer is increased transmission rate (up to 0.35Mb / s), compared to 2G. Telenor and Telia, as well as Ice.net, have built UTMS coverage somewhere in Norway. Nevertheless, there is some newer HSDPA technology that is most common.

HSDPA (Turbo 3G)
HSDPA is based on 3G technology and is called in addition to Turbo 3G, also for 3.5G. With the turbo 3G, a big jump in capacity, with a theoretical macro speed of 7.2mb / s. In Norway, the net is not built at quite so high speeds.

LTE (4G)
More technologies have been marketed as 4G in recent years, but it’s only recently that “real” 4G (LTE) has been taken into use. The 4G coverage is now starting to be very good, several places in the country. Speed in a 4G network is usually up 10 times faster than Turbo 3G.

The development of the even faster 4G + technology is also good.

In summary, the difference between the different technologies’ capacity and the internet speed. Large cities are generally seen first, while some towns and huts even today only have limited GSM / 2G coverage.

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