PTS reports fibre 32% of fixed broadband; operators’ LTE figures disagree with regulator

16 Nov 2012

The Swedish Post & Telecom Agency (PTS) has published its market report for the first half of 2012, in which it recorded that the number of mobile broadband subscriptions increased to 6.2 million at the end of June, a year-on-year increase of 51%. The mobile figure was more than twice the fixed broadband total, which at the same date amounted to 3.05 million, up by 2% year-on-year. Around two-thirds of the mobile broadband subscriptions were smartphone-based, and the amount of mobile data traffic increased by 73% in January-June 2012 compared with the first half of 2011. Of the fixed broadband subscriptions, direct fibre (FTTx/LAN) connections rose to 977,000 at the end of June 2012, a 15% increase y-o-y. ADSL subscriptions continued to decline to 1.47 million at mid-2012, down 5% y-o-y, while cable broadband lines remained static at 592,000. Just over one-fifth of fixed broadband customers had a download speed of at least 100Mbps, although only 3% had an upload speed of at least 100Mbps. In the pay-TV market, IPTV via fibre represented the largest proportion of subscription growth, with 312,000 IPTV via fibre customers at end-June 2012, up 47% in one year.

In the 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile segment, the figures reported by the PTS appeared to clash with recent reports from operators. The regulator claimed there were around 80,000 subscribers using LTE networks in the second quarter of 2012, noting that the slow arrival of LTE handsets in the market may have inhibited development of the user base. However, TeleGeography points out that Swedish operators have themselves reported higher LTE subscriber figures, with TeliaSonera saying in late-May 2012 that it had 140,000 Swedish LTE users, and Tele2 Sweden reporting at end-June 2012 that there were 70,000 LTE subscribers on its network alone (both these operators having seen increased uptake following their launch of 4G handsets in February 2012); Telenor Sweden and 3 Sweden also offer LTE services.

In the voice market, in the first six months of 2012 the PTS reported that 59% of all call traffic came from mobile networks, while 41% originated from fixed networks.

Sweden,Swedish Post and Telecom Agency (PTS),

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