Sweden’s telecom market has one of the most mature mobile and broadband sectors in Europe, with one of the best developed LTE infrastructures in the region and a high penetration of fibre broadband services. The country was also the first in Europe to complete the switch to digital TV broadcasting. The mobile sector has seen innovative spectrum use, with extensive network upgrades providing a significant proportion of subscribers with fast mobile broadband services.
Many mobile subscribers make use of mobile broadband as an alternative to fixed-line broadband services. With the closing down of the analogue network, the 900MHz bands are now being dedicated to mobile connectivity, whereas the spectra in the 800MHz and 1800MHz bands are providing MNOs with additional capabilities for LTE networks. Additional spectrum is now also available. The regulator is working on policies to expand broadband services in the coming years, fixing priorities in the provisioning of better LTE and 5G technologies. LTE connections now account for almost 30% of the mobile market, and it is expected that 3G/4G subscriptions will keep increasing in the coming years.
The Swedish telecom market used to be dominated by the state monopoly Televerket. However the market was deregulated and three main companies became the main players alongside a number of smaller operators. These three companies are TeliaSonera, Telenord and Tele 2.
Sweden completed the first stage of its 700 MHz auction, raising SEK 2.82 billion. Telia as well as the Net4Mobility joint venture of Tele2 and Telenor each acquired blocks of 2x10MHz, while the third bidder, 3 Sweden, did not acquire any of the spectrum, the regulator PTS announced. The winning companies will be able to bid for exact positions in the FDD spectrum in a second stage of the auction.
Telia said it will use the spectrum to expand its nationwide mobile coverage and start the launch of 5G services. In line with the coverage obligations in the licences, the company said it will continue to aim for “Sweden’s by far best quality and coverage”. Tele2 and Telenor announced that in conjunction with acquiring the new spectrum, they have agreed to expand their joint venture to include the launch of nationwide 5G services.
The Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS) is the regulatory agency that monitors the electronic communications and postal sectors in Sweden.
Aided by peace and neutrality for the whole of the 20th century, Sweden has achieved an enviable standard of living under a mixed system of high-tech capitalism and extensive welfare benefits. Sweden is a member of the European Union although it remains outside the Eurozone because of concerns over its impact on the country’s economy, welfare system, and sovereignty. Timber, hydropower, and iron ore constitute the resource base of an economy heavily oriented toward foreign trade. Privately owned firms account for vast majority of industrial output.
GDP grew an estimated 3.3% in 2016 and 2017 driven largely by investment in the construction sector. Swedish economists expect economic growth to ease slightly in the coming years as this investment subsides. Global economic growth boosted exports of Swedish manufactures further, helping drive domestic economic growth. Swedish prices and wages have grown only slightly over the past few years, helping to support the country’s competitiveness.
In the short and medium term, Sweden’s economic challenges include providing affordable housing and successfully integrating migrants into the labor market.
The incumbent operator TeliaSonera has a very dominating position in the Swedish market spite of the quick development of new services such as Internet, GSM and broadband. The existing company is actually the result of a 2002 merger between the former Swedish and Finnish incumbents, Telia and Sonera. TeliaSonera is offering services in all Nordic and Baltic countries, as well as in the emerging markets of Eurasia, including Russia and Turkey, and in Spain. It operates Europe’s largest and fastest-growing wholesale IP backbone (AS1299) and is the 10th-largest global mobile group by consolidated customers, with 26,000+ employees worldwide.