Communications in Sweden

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{system, computer, user}
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Communications in Sweden



Sweden liberalized its telecommunication industry starting in 1980s and being formally liberalized in 1993.[1] This was three years ahead of USA and five years before the European common policy introduced in January 1998 allowed for an open and competitive telecommunication market.[1] The Swedes, most of who are computer literate enjoy a continuous growth in the internet market and the availability of technologies such as Metro Ethernet, fiber, satellite, WAN access technologies and even the availability of 3G services. Statistically, 6.447 (2004) million telephone main lines are in use, 8.0436 (2005) million mobile cellular telephones are in use [2] and 6.7 million Swedes are regular internet users.

This abundance of telecommunication technology is a result of promoting a competitive industry that was made possible by deregulation. Since Sweden was the first to take on this arduous task the government had to come up with “a regulatory framework of its own”.[1] The processes that went about resulting in the liberalization of the telecommunications’ industry can be structured into three phases: “Phase 1 of monopoly to Phase 2 with a mix of monopoly and competition to a “mature” Phase 3 with extensive competition”.[1]

Phase 1

1) Started in 1980 with a parliamentary decision to open the market for terminals attached to the public network. Previously Televerket, a dominant telephone company in Sweden had sole right to attach equipment to the public network.[1] 2) Televerket creates a subsidiary called the Swedish Telecom International in 1989 to compete for international customers.[1] 3) Telia asks the government to become a limited liability company in 1990 and the government transforms Televerket into a public company by selling some shares. In fact, in 1987 the Director General of Televerket in his speech stated that he wanted the liberalization process to be completed.[1] 4) This initiative brings about the Telecommunication act effective on July 1, 1993 which was the first significant liberalization effect. The most important reason behind it was, “paradoxically, the efficiency of the national operator” [1]. The operator being Televerket. “In 1993 the new company Telia AB was formed and a new Telecommunications Act was launched”.[1] 5) At this point the government has an indirect control over the company, wants to promote market competition, and does not want to hinder the support “for Televerket’s growth strategies”.[1] 6) Televerket moves from just being a national operator to also being the national regulation body till 1992. Basically having a monopoly control by the blessing of the state.

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