More 3G subscribers in Sweden – 2010 report say

Sweden’s telecommunications companies reported that about 60% of the country’s mobile market composed of 3G subscribers in 2010.

According to the market research report published by the country’s incumbent operator, TeliaSonera, Swedish-based international operator Tele2, Norwegian incumbent operator Telenor and international conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa´s subsidiary Hi3G, there were 643,000 net additions in 2010, compared to 609,000 in 2009.

Sweden’s telecommunications companies reported that about 60% of the country’s mobile market composed of 3G subscribers in 2010.

According to the market research report published by the country’s incumbent operator, TeliaSonera, Swedish-based international operator Tele2, Norwegian incumbent operator Telenor and international conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa´s subsidiary Hi3G, there were 643,000 net additions in 2010, compared to 609,000 in 2009.

The researchers behind the report, Swedish Post and Telecom Agency (PTS) said there were around six million 3G subscriptions at the end of June 2010, up 50% year-on-year from four million at the end of June 2009. This showed that 3G accounted for around 51% of total mobile subscriptions in June 2010, up from 37% at the end of June 2009. PTS believes that this is the result of growing demand for 3G services. The agency estimated that about 60% of mobile subscribers were 3G subscribers at the end of 2010, and they expect this rate to increase to 72.6% by the end of 2011.

PTS also said the increased use of smartphones may have contributed to the rise. “Smartphone dominance, inexpensive data packages and the coming of LTE are all driving the penetration of 3G services in Sweden,” they said.

Last November 2010 Net4Mobility, a joint venture owned by mobile operators Tele2 and Telenor, plans to roll out a commercial LTE network before the end of 2011. The new network, which went live in Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmo and Karlkrona, is expected to cover 99% of the population by the end of 2012. PTS estimates by that time almost 90% of the total mobile market will be on 3G services.

There has been no new release of information by the Swedish telecoms regulator since June 2010, when it reported there were five million fixed lines in Sweden. However, data from individual operators indicates that the annual rate of decline for 2010 has remained approximately the same as the 3.4% decline in 2009.

The Sweden-based agency estimates there were almost five million lines at the end of 2010. In terms of the fixed-line market, the decline in demand is representative of continued demand for alternative services that are both cheaper and more convenient to access, such as mobile and VoIP.

While overall demand for fixed lines went down, much of this is related to PSTN and ISDN lines, while demand for IP-based telephony increased. TeliaSonera´s VoIP subscriptions increased 75.3% year-on-year to 277,000 in 2010, with 69,000 subscriptions added in that year. PTS said to a degree this would suggest that the decline actually represents a shift in the type of connection, rather than a permanent loss of subscribers.

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