2008 Europe - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband in Scandinavia

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Last updated: 8 Dec 2008 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 239

Analyst: Stephen McNamara

Publication Overview

This report covers Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, all early adopters of emerging technologies. Subjects include:

·         Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;

·         Facts, figures and statistics;

·         Industry and regulatory issues;

·         Research, Marketing, Benchmarking;

·         Major Players, Revenues, Subscribers, Prepaid;

·         VoIP, IPTV, VoD, digital TV and DTTV;

·         Converged media, mobile broadband.


Researcher:- Henry Lancaster

Current publication date:- December 2008 (7th Edition)

Next publication date:- December 2009

Executive Summary

BuddeComm’s annual publication, 2008 - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband in Scandinavia, profiles five countries which continue to be leaders in Europe for technological development and usage. These markets have been the first to adopt analogue frequencies for digital uses, and have been among the most innovative in developing business models to promote and extend fibre networks. 

All Scandinavian countries have deployed some of Europe’s fastest mobile broadband technologies, enabling mobile broadband to become a true alternative to fixed-line networks. The region has also capitalised on the multi-dwelling environment within the larger cities to develop extensive municipal fibre networks. In digital broadcasting, Sweden and Finland were the first countries in Europe to complete analogue switchover, while Denmark and Norway are well advance in the process. 

The region is also home to two of Europe’s key telcos. Sweden’s incumbent TeliaSonera in January 2008 established a fully-owned infrastructure subsidiary, TeliaSonera Skanova Access, so becoming one of the progressive incumbents to move to functional separation. This has increased competition in the broadband sector, reducing prices and favouring stronger consumer take-up for fast connections. Norway’s leading telco Telenor has extensive and fast growing operations in a number of countries across Europe and in Southeast Asia. 

This report presents a concise overview of the telecoms sector in Scandinavia, the development of product offerings for both mobile and broadband technologies, essential operator statistics, and the growth of convergence, triple play and digital TV.


Key highlights:

·         Iceland was among the first countries to re-allocate the 450MHz frequency band as a digital service, so preserving the band’s long-range, relied on in remote regions and off-shore. Nordisk Mobiltelefon also operates a commercial CDMA 450 network in Norway, Sweden and Finland to provide wireless broadband.

·         Switch-over to digital TV was completed in Sweden ahead of schedule and before most European countries began the process.

·         In Norway, analogue switch off was begun in March 2008 and was due to be completed by November 2009.

·         Scandinavia is well advanced in promoting the use of spectrum for mobile broadband and other applications. The markets held a number of auctions in the 1.8, 2.3, 2.6 and 10GHz bands during 2008, setting up excellent coverage for wireless services in rural areas and establishing a range of business opportunities for providers in coming years.

·         Triple play services have taken off on the back of upgraded fibre and ADSL2+/VDSL networks, coupled with greater customer awareness of bundled products.

·         Scandinavia also enjoys some of the highest broadband penetration rates in the world, with Denmark the global leader, closely followed by Norway and Iceland. All of these markets have effective regulatory backing and strong involvement from municipal governments.


Scandinavian broadband penetration by country – 2008



Household penetration
















(Source: BuddeComm)


The following notes provide some background to our scenario forecasting methodology:

·         This report includes what we term scenario forecasts. By describing long-range scenarios we identify a band within which we expect market growth to occur. The associated text describes what we see as the most likely growth trend within this band.

·         The projections shown in the tables in this report are based on our own historical information, as well as on telecommunication sector statistics from official and non-official, national and international sources. We assume a possible deviation of 15-20% around this data.

·         All statistics for GDP, revenue, etc are shown in US$, in order to maintain consistency within and between markets. At the same time we acknowledge that this can introduce some irregularities.


For those needing high level strategic information and objective analysis on the Scandinavian region, this report is essential reading and includes further information on:

·         Mobile TV developments and their impact on mobile data use in the region;

·         Triple play developments stimulated by higher bandwidth connections;

·         Digital switchover and the impact on broadcasters and content;

·         The changing face of converged media with widespread triple play services becoming a standard feature in homes.


Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.

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