Swedish incumbent TeliaSonera has revealed plans for a widespread deployment of fibre-based broadband access technologies in conjunction with expansion of copper-based and other platforms, to improve its domestic broadband portfolio and increase its competitiveness. Telia claims a quarter of Swedish businesses ‘are planning on investing in faster broadband during 2008,’ alongside rising residential demand for high-definition IPTV and other bandwidth-intensive applications. To meet demand it is planning to deploy a range of technologies, including fibre-to-the-building (FTTB)/fibre-to-the-home (FTTH), VDSL2, point-to-point fibre and PON, to deliver data speeds of ‘up to 100Mbps and higher’, ‘depending on the geographic circumstances and the market’s needs,’ according to the firm’s Head of Broadband Services, Erik Hallberg. The telco is accelerating an existing programme of collaboration with third parties, including municipal authorities that own fibre networks, building owners and housing co-operatives, and also aims to expand higher-speed services to small towns as well as major urban centres.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, 119 out of 153 local fibre/LAN broadband networks in Sweden are directly owned by municipal authorities or municipally run companies, whilst alternative telcos marketing direct fibre services include Telenor and its two local subsidiaries Bredbandsbolaget (a.k.a. B2) and Glocalnet, Tele2, and TDC Song. A report from FTTH Council Europe said that Sweden had 7% FTTB/FTTH household penetration by mid-2007, the highest in Europe, with over 400,000 households enjoying access to a direct fibre connection by that date.