By 2020, 95% of all households and companies should have access to broadband at a minimum capacity of 100 Mbps and by 2025, all of Sweden should have access to high-speed broadband. The importance of 5G roll-out has been acknowledged by Sweden for instance in the frame of the Nordic Council of Ministers for Digitalisation. This ad hoc council has been given the task to take lead in following up the declaration on 5G signed by the Nordic prime ministers in May 2018.
Summary of broadband development in Sweden
In its broadband strategy, the Swedish government has identified three strategic areas in order to meet the goals set in the strategy: Roles and rules on the broadband market, cost-efficient expansion of the broadband infrastructure and services for everyone. According to the broadband strategy A Completely Connected Sweden by 2025, the focal point has to be people’s need for broadband access, whether they live in densely populated areas, scarcely populated areas and rural areas, or in areas situated in between. Sweden is committed to be at the forefront of the development of 5G. One manifestation of this is the Nordic-Baltic cooperation on 5G, undertaken within the frame of the Nordic Council of Ministers. In May 2018, the Nordic prime ministers signed a declaration on 5G, with the common vision of being the first and foremost-integrated region in the world. In order to achieve this goal a common action plan for early adoption of 5G technology has been set up by the Nordic-Baltic ministers of digitalisation.
National broadband strategy and policy
- The Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation (Näringsdepartementet) is responsible for digitalisation and broadband policy.
- The Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS) is the authority that monitors and regulates the electronic communications and post sectors. The vision of the authority is that everyone in Sweden should have access to good telephony, broadband and postal services.
- The Bredbandsforum was appointed by the Government in 2010 and is responsible for facilitating cooperation between concerned actors in order to promote an effective expansion of broadband infrastructure. The forum also has the mission to create an arena for government, companies, authorities and other organisations to collectively identify obstacles for the deployment and to find solutions facilitating broadband access in the entire country.
Main aims for broadband development
The government’s vision for a completely connected Sweden is that the broadband infrastructure should correspond to the user’s need for connectivity. In the broadband strategy adopted in December 2016, the Swedish government identified the need for goals in two areas: access to high-speed broadband in all of Sweden and access to reliable and high quality mobile services. The objective of the strategy is that 95% of all households and businesses should have access to broadband at a minimum capacity of 100 Mbps by 2020. The strategy goes beyond 2020 and states that by 2025 all of Sweden should have access to high-speed broadband. That implies that 98% of all households and businesses should have access to broadband at a minimum capacity of 1 Gbps. The remaining 1.9% should have access to connections at a minimum capacity of 100 Mbps and 0.1% at a minimum capacity of 30 Mbps. The strategy also has a goal for mobile coverage: all of Sweden should have access to reliable and high-quality mobile services no later than the year 2023.
The Swedish Digitisation strategy adopted in 2017 guides the country’s work to meet its digital goals. Sweden aims to unlock the potential of the digital transformation, while creating a digitally advanced public sector that provides legal certainty, availability and contributes to the development of effective policies.
Main measures for broadband development
- Broadband mapping: In Sweden, a web service Ledningskollen has been developed and steered by the Swedish post and telecom authority (NRA) with the aim of sharing information on infrastructure owners (i.e. pipelines and other infrastructure). The platform has been developed and is publicly accessible on a voluntary basis in order to prevent damage during excavation and enhance coordination in civil work. In addition to the Ledningskollen, PTS has a national mapping tool called the Broadband Map (Bredbandskartan), which shows the availability of broadband, network owners and ISPs near a specific location throughout Sweden.
- Swedish broadband deployment is primarily market-driven, but in areas where there are no commercial incentives to invest, there is complementary public funding available. In Sweden, municipalities play an important role in network deployment by way of controlling and determining conditions for access for operators to municipal land.
National and regional broadband financial instruments
- State aid for broadband deployment in areas where there are no commercial investments in next generation access networks is available through the Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and in the northern part of Sweden via the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
- SEK 202.8 million are provided to the Rural Development Programme for 2014–2020 for continued broadband expansion in rural areas.
- Financed through the Recovery and Resilience Fund, the government intends to invest SEK 1.4 billion in 2021, SEK 500 million in 2022 and thereafter SEK 100 million annually during 2023-2025 to expand the broadband throughout the country and achieve the national broadband targets. The Swedish Post and Telecom Agency (PTS) is the managing authority for this support scheme. During the current program period for the rural development program (2014–2020), the government has also allocated approximately SEK 4.45 billion in broadband support for expansion in areas where it is not commercially profitable to expand.
- The government has also made investments of SEK 1.2 billion within the regional fund for the expansion of larger local interconnection broadband networks in the three northern regional fund programs.
Data on broadband development and technologies in Sweden
For the latest data on broadband coverage, subscriptions and penetrations, coverage of different broadband technologies and costs check the scoreboard reports and the country reports of the Digital Economy & Society Index (DESI).
Spectrum assignments for wireless broadband
For details on harmonised spectrum assignments consult the European 5G Observatory.
Publications and press documents
- A Completely Connected Sweden by 2025 – a Broadband Strategy
- Study on National Broadband Plans
- New Nordic cooperation on 5G
- Guide to High-Speed Broadband Investment
- Broadband Connectivity Reports and Analyses
- Mobile and fixed broadband prices in Europe
- Study on broadband coverage in Europe
- A Completely Connected Sweden by 2025 – a Broadband Strategy
- Digital Strategy for Sweden (Digitaliseringsstrategi)
- Broadband infrastructure mapping system (Ledningskollen)
- Broadband service mapping tool (Bredbandskartan)