The world’s first 5G phone call made in Tallinn

The world’s first 5G phone call was made in Tallinn on 27 June after the mobile operator, Elisa, opened its fifth-generation cell network in the city and in the Finnish town of Tampere.

The phone call was initiated by the Estonian minister of economy, Kadri Simson, who called her Finnish colleague, Anne Berner, in Tampere, Finland.

“The weather is nice and it’s an unbelievable opportunity to contact you like this,” were Simson’s first words over the 5G network.

The new cell network was opened in Tallinn’s Rotermann Quarter, a hip area between the Old Town and the city centre, home to several restaurants and shops.

Ten times faster

5G is the next generation wireless network technology that enables clients to use speeds ten times faster than the current 4G technology. 5G networks will also reduce to virtually zero the lag time between devices and the servers they communicate with.

A speed test at the 5G network in Tallinn showed the network’s speed as 2.2 Gbit/s, which is many times faster than any wireless or wired connection in the country.

Elisa said the network will remain open in the Rotermann Quarter, and its customers can use it if they have suitable 5G devices.

Rotermann, Tallinn. Soon enough, outdoor restaurants fall into desolation. Restless people proclaim to move to the Mediterranean – or Bali – and leave this upcoming hell for good. How could you survive seven months without sipping your morning coffee outside, on the balcony? No more shorts? Come on.

The world’s first GSM phone call was made on the network of Elisa’s predecessor, Radiolinja, on 27 March 1991. Radiolinja was also the network on which the world’s first world’s first person-to-person SMS text message was sent in 1993; the world’s first fixed-mobile service bundle launched in 1996; and the world’s first paid downloadable mobile content – a ringtone – was provided in 1998.


Cover: The first phone call was initiated by the Estonian minister of economy, Kadri Simson, who called her Finnish colleague, Anne Berner, in Tampere, Finland (photo courtesy of Elisa). P.S. We wouldn’t be able to report these stories without your help – please see how you can support Estonian World, thank you!

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About the author: Sten Hankewitz

Sten Hankewitz is a lifelong journalist and Deputy Editor at Estonian World. Having lived in Estonia, Spain, the UK and all around the US, he now resides in Chicago, IL. He loves to write and besides working at Estonian World and doing some occasional blogging, he writes books and contributes to other outlets in Estonia, Israel and elsewhere. He has strong convictions and he shows them unashamedly. You can follow him on Twitter, like his page on Facebook or check out his personal blog. You can write to Sten at