PTS follows up access to telephony in Sweden

30/08/2011

Access to telephony in Sweden is overall good, and technological developments may contribute to a continuation of this positive situation. It is, however, critical that telecom companies inform their customers in an appropriate way in the event of technical changes and that new telephony solutions function for subscribers. This is the conclusion the Swedish Post and Telecom Agency (PTS) draws in the report ‘Tillgången till telefoni’ (Access to Telephony) published today.

In this initial follow-up report PTS concludes that access to telephony is at the overall level very good. The vast majority of Swedish households and companies have the possibility of connecting to several different networks, usually both fixed and mobile networks. Today the 3G networks cover 99.60% of the population and there is very good coverage in the 450 network, which currently amounts to 99.96% of the population.

PTS also observes that the pilot project within TeliaSonera’s scheduled shift in technology (where the company is in certain limited areas substituting fixed telephony with solutions via mobile networks) is progressing in good time. However, there are individual areas where consumers perceive there to be problems with the technology and interruptions to the service, and with the information they have received from the telecom company.

“It is important to be aware that technical changes often result in anxiety on the part of those affected,” says Sara Andersson, Director of the PTS Consumer Markets Department. “Clear information in good time to those affected is critical, and services that replace fixed telephony must function well for subscribers. PTS will consequently continue its very intensive follow-up with TeliaSonera and other telecom companies in order to monitor and ensure that they work proactively and resolve any problems that arise,” she explains. “The next follow-up meeting with TeliaSonera will be held on 7 September.”

Within the next few years the Swedish mobile operators will make major investments in the next generation network for wireless broadband services, the ‘4G network’. This development is taking place, among other things, within the 800 MHz band, which is suitable for establishing good coverage throughout Sweden. There is also a coverage requirement in the band whereby a stakeholder must use up to SEK 300 million during the next few years to cover those households and businesses that do not have access to broadband of at least 1 Mbit per second. As it will also be possible to use the 800 MHz band for telephony, this will provide good opportunities for resolving potential problems that may arise in the future concerning access to telephony.

The report ‘Tillgången till telefoni’ is PTS’s initial follow-up report. The Authority plans to publish follow-ups half yearly, to in this way enable it to monitor among other things the shift in technology from fixed telephony to solutions via mobile networks.

Read the report (in Swedish only) 

For more information, please contact
Sara Andersson, head of Consumer Market Department, tel. 070-811 40 30 or
PTS's Press Office, tel. 08-678 55 55