Norway’s telecom market has shown only marginal growth since 2006. The economic downturn which has affected the global economy since 2008 resulted in market revenue having increased by only about 0.2% in 2009, though some recovery is expected in 2010 as consumer confidence returns and as government stimulus investment helps develop fibre infrastructure and greater consumer adoption of bundled services. Fixed-line revenue is expected to fall by about 10% in 2010, while overall revenue will be buttressed by the broadband and mobile data sectors.
In the broadband sector, by early 2010 DSL access represented only 63% of all connections, or about 7% less than a year earlier. The decline is partly due to the migration of DSL subscribers to faster cable broadband networks provided by Get and Telenor, as also to the wider availability of fibre networks. The decline should be slowed during 2010 as operator investment in DSL network upgrades come online, but the overall trend to 2015 will be the migration to fibre networks in the major cities and smaller towns, while LTE rollouts in 2010 and 2011 will provide a viable alternative to DSL in rural areas.
Mobile broadband services available on HSPA and LTE networks have shown particularly strong growth, with the number of subscribers increasing by about 130% in 2009 and data use doubling in the year. The sector will show exceptional promise in 2010 and 2011 as the two main mobile network operators expand the reach of LTE technology and as competition influences the introduction of cheaper flat rate data contracts.
In the broadcasting sector, analogue switch off was completed in December 2009. The share of DTTV and IPTV, largely based on fibre networks, is expected to continue to increase steadily in coming years at the expense of the satellite platform.
Norway – key telecom parameters – 2008; 2010
|Fixed broadband subscribers (million)||1.58||1.72|
|Fixed broadband penetration rate||34%||39%|
|Mobile broadband subscribers (thousand)||266||600|
|Subscribers to telecoms services:|
|Fixed-line telephony (million)||1.90||1.78|
|SIM cards in service (million)||5.25||5.40|
|SIM penetration (population)||110%||115%|
- Telecom market investment will be focussed on the broadband and mobile sectors in 2010 as operators upgrade networks and compete for subscribers. Overall telecom sector revenue should recover slightly from the negligible growth shown in 2009.
- The value of the fixed-line sector will continue to fall during the next few years in response to consumer migration to mobile services. Unlike many other European markets, VoIP has shown little growth.
- In the fibre sector the government has focussed on developing a sympathetic regulatory regime to reduce the cost of deployment and provide access to ducts for competing players. As a result the number of broadband access facilities provided through fibre has increased significantly since 2003, and fibre-based broadband will increasingly dent the share held by DSL and cable networks.
- TeliaSonera launched the world’s first commercial LTE network in Oslo in December 2009 (in conjunction with a similar launch in Stockholm). The company’ planned network expansion during 2010 will be complemented by network rollouts from Telenor. The country is at the forefront of these mobile technology developments, and in coming years will set the pace for rural wireless broadband adoption as well as establishing a pattern of migration from fixed-line broadband services.
BuddeComm’s annual publication, Norway – Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts, provides a comprehensive overview of the trends and developments in the telecommunications and digital media markets in Norway. For more information see: Norway – Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts
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