Norway - Telecoms, IP Networks and Digital Media
Tele2 exits Norway as TeliaSonera strengthens
In common with other Scandinavian countries, Norway has one of Europe’s highest rates for broadband and mobile penetration. It also has a developed digital TV sector, having been one of the first countries in the region to switch to digital broadcasting. Although not a member of the European Union, its telecoms sector is synchronised with relevant EC legislation. Telenor remains the dominant operator in all sectors, though there is vibrant competition from other players, particularly TeliaSonera which has increased its market share by acquiring the operations of Tele2. The government in early 2015 secured approval from political parties for its plan to the state’s holding in Telenor from 54% to 34%, though no timetable has yet been issued.
The mobile market is dominated by the triopoly of Telenor Mobile, TeliaSonera’s NetCom and the joint venture Mobile Norway. Services from these operators are supplemented by those from a growing number of MVNOs. A new entrant, branded as Ice.net and owned by AINMT Holdings, secured spectrum at auction in December 2013. The market is well advanced in LTE developments, with both Telenor and NetCom spearheading networks in the region.
The broadband market is moving towards faster cable services based on upgraded networks, as well as fibre, with the result that the number of DSL subscribers is falling steadily. Telenor and NextGenTel/Telio are the leading ISPs, though a number of smaller operators and resellers are also active. Mobile broadband has also become a key development, with the country’s LTE networks particularly effective in remote and rural areas.
Competition authority approves TeliaSonera’s acquisition of Tele2’s Norwegian business;
Government plans to sell 20% stake in Telenor receives political backing;
Regulator rebranded as Norwegian Communications Authority (Nkom);
Telenor phases out PSTN infrastructure, signs five-year framework agreement with ZTE;
Thor 7 satellite prepares for launch;
Telenor realigns operating divisions;
Regulator consults on implications for DTTV if the 700MHz bans is assigned for mobile broadband; SMS traffic falls for the first time through smartphone messaging alternatives;
MNOs set up m-commerce joint venture;
Report includes regulator’s market data to June 2014; telcos’ operating and financial data to Q4 2014; recent market developments.
Companies mentioned in this report:
Telenor Mobil, NetCom, Mobile Norway, Teletopia, Tele2, Telenor, TeliaSonera, BaneTele, NextGenTel, Lyse, NetCom, Nordisk Mobiltelefon, ViaSat, Canal Digital, Get, Telio
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