During 2009, Sweden saw revenue growth in mobile and data services, while fixed service revenues declined. The country has one of Europe’s most advanced broadband markets with among the highest penetration rates and connection speeds. In order to tackle the increasing demand for mobile data and mobile broadband as well as higher fixed broadband capacity, the regulator (PTS) has taken a number of recent measures to free up spectrum and stimulate competition in broadband access. This was necessary to fulfil its 2008 objective of bringing ‘broadband for all’ by 2010.
PTS recently awarded a 2G licence to a 3G operator after the approval of a spectrum transfer from two operators. It is also consulting on the 800MHz band auction and announced the auction of at least one national licence for the 3.7GHz band – both set aside for mobile service use. Other relevant measures aimed at improving competition in the broadband market and dealing with the high-capacity demand are the analysis of the markets for wholesale (physical) network infrastructure access and the market for wholesale broadband access.
The regulatory regime is set to change further, with a number of consultations currently under way. These include a review of the fixed retail markets, the maximum porting time for mobile and fixed numbers, and the setting of new interconnection charges (LLU charges, fixed and mobile termination charges) following the EC’s Recommendation on the Regulatory Treatment of Fixed and Mobile Termination Rates in the EU.