April Made by Öhrlings PricewaterhouseCoopers on commission by the National Post and Telecom Agency (PTS)

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1 April 1999 Made by Öhrlings PricewaterhouseCoopers on commission by the National Post and Telecom Agency (PTS)

2 Öhrlings PricewaterhouseCoopers has been commissioned by the National Post and Telecom Agency (PTS) to make a study to serve as basis in an ongoing analysis of the IT infrastructure in Sweden, which is conducted by the IT infrastructure investigation. The aim of the study has been to investigate the access to advanced information and communication infrastructure. The study will be used in the further work of PTS regarding network infrastructure. The report has three main sections: To illustrate the network infrastructure in Sweden, a survey was conducted in four parts: national, municipality, cable TV and mobile. This section contains a description and analysis of the survey. This section describes trends in technical development and analysis concerning infrastructure and its effects.. In this section, a comparative analysis of a number of countries is conducted for the purpose of mapping how these countries manage matters of infrastructure. Since the introduction of the telecom regulation in 1993, the development in Sweden has led to competition and multiplicity in a variety of fields. One way of visualising the telecommunications market is to illustrate it as a value chain. Infrastructure Network operators Service Service providers providers &XVWRPHUV &XVWRPHUV &XVWRPHUV I

3 The first level in the value chain is the infrastructure that is required to transfer tele- and data communication signals. Cables of optical fibre, coaxial or copper wire mostly constitute it, but it can also consist of radio links or other wireless networks. Examples of such infrastructure are STOKAB s network of optical fibre in the county of Stockholm, and Teracom s nation-wide radio links for radio and TV broadcasts. At the second level in the telecom value chain, networks of available infrastructure and end devices are constructed. The equipment and the architecture of the network determine the future capacity of the network. Players in this market are called network operators, such as Tele2. The network operators have constructed, and now operate, their own networks mainly using leased infrastructure. The third level in the chain of value comprises the so-called service providers, who as well as the network operators deliver services to the end consumers. Service providers perform this without building or operating their own infrastructure. A number of studies and reports that aim to describe and analyse the increasing competition in the telecommunications market have been conducted over the years. The market of service providers and network operators has been principally examined, while there has been very little writing about the network infrastructure that is needed to deliver the services. The purpose of this report is to illustrate this part of the value chain, both on a national and regional/local level. We have divided the infrastructure in a generally applicable manner, according to the model below; are nation-wide networks. are regional/local networks that e.g. give a city access to local traffic and provide connections to transit networks. In a minor area, such as a residential area, the constitutes the connection between e.g. the residence and the urban network. Transit network Urban network Local access networks Household/ office 3.1 Transit networks Despite the fact that many players have been present on the Swedish telecommunications market since the deregulation in 1993, no major infrastructure has been built on a national level. The number of transit network on the Swedish market is limited to a few major, particularly Banverket, Svenska Kraftnät, Telia and Teracom. All of these are today owned by the Swedish state. Out of these, Telia owns urban networks and local access networks in addition to their transit network. The network operators operating on the market, such as Tele2, Sonera, MCI WorldCom, Global One etc., own no substantial infrastructure. Instead, they have formed agreements with the above mentioned infrastructure owners. II

4 3.2 Urban networks The survey showed that out of the 198 respondents, 60% owned urban network infrastructure. If this number is updated with PwC s estimate, we arrive at a span of urban networks in Sweden. Excluding Telia, the largest owners of the urban networks of Sweden are by far the Swedish municipalities 1, which own seven out of ten urban networks. If indirect ownership through municipal companies is included, the municipalities own 96% of the country s urban networks. The results of the survey and interviews with urban network players show that the municipalities strive to build and own their own infrastructure. The pace of such network infrastructure construction work is however dependent on the demand of network operators and municipalities. Furthermore, a number of municipalities are discussing the possibilities of creating varying collaboration forms for infrastructure owners and network operators. In total, Sweden s urban network owners intend to extend their networks by nearly 50% in cable length. The type of cable that is estimated to increase the most within the next couple of years is the coaxial cable, which is planned to increase by 71%, followed by the optical fibre cable, which will increase by 60%. In this context, it is, however, important to note that the total amount of coaxial cable only constitutes 12% of the total amount of optical fibre cable. The results from the survey show that urban networks usually are quite small. Almost threequarters of the municipalities in Sweden have a connection length of 0-9 km per inhabitants while only ten municipalities have a cable length of more than 20 km per inhabitants. The longer cable lengths are mainly found in municipalities in the southern and central parts of Sweden. Competition between urban networks within the same municipality seems limited. According to the survey, only 4% of the municipalities that replied had two urban network operators, apart from Telia. An adjustment upwards of the result would imply that there are only two urban network players present in 8-11 out of all Swedish municipalities. The survey indicates that 40% of the municipalities, which possess urban networks, offer some kind of commercial service. The most common service is dark fibre, followed by leased lines and Internet access. Internet is the service that most of the municipalities plan to offer in the near future. In the survey, the municipalities were also asked about their standpoint in making existing or planned ducts for drawing cables available (i.e. duct-sharing) to other infrastructure owners. More than 60% of the administrative municipalities had not considered the issue at all, but of the remaining 40%, the majority was positive and considered it as a possibility to promote their municipality. 3.3 Local access networks A local fixed access network consists of a connection from a urban network to end users, and can comprise different logical networks and transmission media, such as data- and telecommunications networks, cable TV networks and mobile networks. 1 Administrative municipalities refer to the local government and do not include municipal companies, such as energy companies. III

5 The survey showed that only 16 municipality players out of 198 owned local access networks from which households can benefit. An approximation using the survey material and PwC s estimate indicates that the total number is municipalities for all of Sweden. Cable TV networks constitute alternative access networks. A cable TV network must, however, be upgraded to be able to handle telecommunication and computer traffic. Today, about Swedish households are connected to cable TV, and about 70% have access to cable TV. Altogether there are approximately 70 cable TV-companies in Sweden, out of which the biggest are Stjärn-TV, Kabelvision, Svenska Kabel-TV and Sweden On Line. With its nation wide telecommunication access network, Telia is the major player in the local access market. Telia access almost all Swedish households through its telecommunication network. In recent years, the mobile penetration has increased substantially and Sweden is one of the countries in the world with the highest number of mobile phones per inhabitant. It is estimated that every other Swede owns a mobile phone. This fact makes mobile networks a credible alternative to fixed access networks. Competition in the mobile market is far more intense than in the fixed network market, in the sense that competition develops through the network operators owning their own infrastructure. The description above indicates that Telia s telecommunication local access network does not constitute the only access alternative for end-users. A breakthrough for digital transmissions on cable TV networks will result in opportunities for two-way communication for end-users. Furthermore in a near future, land and satellite based mobile technology should also imply a significant increase in competition within access networks. In the present trend within technology development, no single technique will be absolutely dominating. Instead, the technique that is most appropriate for each occasion will be chosen. The borderline between fixed respectively wireless communication will dissolve, due to an increasing amount of combinations of fixed and wireless communication techniques. As far as access to the households is concerned, ADSL via the existing copper networks together with access over the cable TV networks will probably be the dominating broadband solution within the next few years. All individuals have a variety of different roles, for example at work, during leisure time and when travelling, and the demands of functionality differ within these various situations, a fact which will diversify the market for access services. In due time, all terminals will be able to communicate with all networks, making it possible to choose the access form that is best suited for a given situation and the needs at that very moment. Services Services Transit networks Local access networks IV

6 To be able to develop technology and services, many network operators choose to control the infrastructure, although they do not own it themselves. A distinct trend is that some network operators decide to focus on their core business, a fact that may lead for example to one operator mainly delivering services and another running the network. Further trends include a consolidation in the transportation area, i.e. those players who only offer transport of data, strive to grow larger to be able to benefit from economies of scale. In the access area, fragmentation will arise and a variety of different access forms for different roles, users and occasions will develop. Access without service content will to a greater extent than before become a basic demand from private persons and companies. It is not very unlikely that in the future, the same players who provide infrastructure in the form of facilities, electricity and water, will also provide Internet access. Access becomes part of the basic infrastructure. Below is a summary that shows our standpoint regarding the probability that different access forms in a larger scale will deliver band-width greater than 1Mbps to households in sparsely populated areas 2 respectively in densely built-up areas. The market potential for the respective form of technology and type of region has been given points from zero to three, where zero represents non-existent and three represents great potential. Every judgement is followed by a short explanation. Copper cable (ADSL) Only when ADSL is widely spread in the urban areas, do we believe that telcos will launch the service in rural areas, since each switch needs to be upgraded. ADSL will initially be launched in urban areas and will become the dominating form of broadband access 3 during the next five years. Telia 2 With sparsely populated areas we mean the areas outside densely built-up areas/ urban districts. 3 With refers to bandwidths exceeding 1Mbps with the phrase broadband access. V

7 Coaxial (Cable TV) As cable TV is not widely spread in rural areas, it does not constitute a viable access alternative. The cable TV infrastructure will be a common form of access in the areas that already have cable, provided that the quality of that cable is sufficient. Cable TV operators Fiber optic cable In urban areas, this option will be an alternative for companies that are able to afford the more expensive fiber connection. However, fiber to the door is not a likely alternative for households due to the high costs. Fiber is relatively costly and will not constitute an effective alternative for connecting rural companies in the short perspective. The large telcos + datacom operators + electricity companies + municipalities a.s.o. Power lines Power lines will not win a big market over the next few years but will remain more or less at a test stage. Power lines will not win a big market over the next years but will remain more or less in a test stage. Power companies Mobile telephony (UMTS) As UMTS will require an extended infrastructure, it will be available first in urban areas and then in sparsely populated areas 4. UMTS is expected to be launched in 2002, which will give the majority of the urban population access to mobile data up to 2Mbps. The large mobile operators + potential new mobile operators Satellite communications (broadband LEO) Depending on pricing, broadband LEO-satellites can to some extent replace the local access loop in rural areas, if local net infrastructure is insufficient or if satellite is a more cost effective alternative. As Sweden has a good network infrastructure, broadband LEOs will not be a viable alternative to other access forms, such as ADSL and fiber. Satellite operators Point to multipoint In the absence of effective local alternatives, point to multipoint solutions can be a local loop alternative. As network infrastructure in urban areas is often well developed and the transmission technique demands free sight, this technique will not be big in urban areas but rather cover different niche needs. Telcos and data communication companies etc. 4 Narrow-band solutions, with greater bandwidth than today, will however be launched over the next years (e.g. GSM enhanced with GPRS) over the major part of the mobile telephony network. VI

8 Wide Area Data (DAB) The initiative of using DAB as a cheap way of reaching large areas with broadband data makes it an interesting technique, especially considering that DAB already covers 85% of Sweden. The supply of terminals is important and it remains to be seen how this will develop. As DAB will use a narrowband return channel, all those who have the possibility to choose will prefer other solutions such as UMTS, which has a broad return channel, instead of DAB. Teracom Wide Area Data (Digital-TV) Even if Digital TV eventually will be launched in the entire country, the rural areas will have to wait. Teracom is, however, planning to cover Sweden within 2-3 years. The large bandwidth 5 and the potential future penetration make it a clear alternative for home access when the services and end-user equipment is available. Teracom It is getting less and less interesting to discuss strict access forms, when in reality, access will most likely be achieved through combinations of many different technologies. Furthermore, the development of end equipment and so-called intelligent terminals will affect the possibilities to utilise different transmission techniques. As the pace of development increases and the market becomes more diversified a greater difference in the fields of quality and service capacity will probably become visible between sparsely populated areas and densely built areas. Most likely the whole population will, in a few years time, have access to fast data transmission facilities through an improved GSM network. More densely populated areas will be able to use mobile broadband services supplied by UMTS. The infrastructure of fixed networks will be well built out to the local switch, but the issue of offering cost-effective solutions from local switch to houses far from inhabited areas will be solved differently according to the specific cases. The described countries; Denmark, Great Britain, France, Germany, the U.S. and New Zealand have historically had a similar situation as far as the structure of the national telecommunications market is concerned. With the exception of the U.S., the national operators within all countries have mainly been state-owned companies. During the last decade, many countries have attempted to increase competition in order to increase economic growth and improve the supply of services. Both the timetables and the approaches to this liberalisation 5 The high transfer rates are only valid in the downstream direction upstream data is handled by narrow-band solutions such as telephone modems. VII

9 process have varied between the countries. In most cases, however, the service perspective has served as a starting point for the competition issue in the telecommunications market, i.e. the telecommunications regulations have focused on creating necessary conditions for effective competition between services. A direct regulation of projected infrastructure investments has not been seen as important, since the national operator, often the Government built a nation wide telecommunications network at an early stage. The view above is also reflected in the EU regulation. To begin with, EU recommendations focus on securing and establishing effective competition in the telecommunications market with regard to the supply of services. This has been done e.g. by opening up the infrastructure to other network operators, separating the government s role as owner from the role as regulating authority, enabling interconnection and securing the supply of certain basic services. Specific regulation concerning demands for investments in telecommunication infrastructure is limited. The EU regulation is directed towards defining and ensuring the socalled universal service obligation, which has an indirect effect on investments in telecommunication infrastructure. It is, however, for the membership states themselves to define the services that are to be included in the universal service obligation concept. The relation above also holds true for the national regulation of the EU member states; for the time being, there are only limited means for a government to influence investments in regional telecommunication infrastructure. Such means can consist e.g. of the definition of the universal service obligations or the conditions for telecommunication permissions, which indirectly and directly influence infrastructure investments. No important differences between the EU countries have been proved. The situation is similar for those countries in our description that are not members of the EU, namely the U.S. and New Zealand. Apart from the above-mentioned means, which are derived from specific telecommunications laws and regulations, the governments in the different countries have used other methods to influence telecommunication infrastructure investments. These methods have in many cases taken the form of governmental investigations and commissions. Through the European Regional Development Fund (ERFU), the EU has taken initiatives that e.g. enable influence on infrastructure investments. In Sweden, some of these funds have been used in a number of cases. Initiatives in such projects do not originate from the government; it is the responsibility of the regional authorities to apply for such funds. The role of the government as owner of telecommunications infrastructure has been, and still is, of certain importance. In Sweden, almost all network structures are owned by state owned companies, although the infrastructure investments made by these companies have not been driven by governmental orders. In all other countries described (Denmark, France, Great Britain, Germany, New Zealand and the U.S.), the networks are wholly or partly privatised. There do not exist any demands for infrastructure suppliers to construct telecommunications infrastructure, with the exception of the national network operator, who must supply services in accordance with the universal service obligations. The national networks were originally built by state-owned companies. As for infrastructure investments in regional and local networks, the opposite is true, if the national network operator s own regional and local networks are excluded. With this exception, regional and local networks primarily consist of cable-tv networks and so called urban networks. In many countries, municipalities and/or private players own urban networks. In some cases, the construction of urban networks has been made to stimulate and enable competition in the regional and local telecommunications market. In others cases, such investments were made to reduce the costs off internal communications for local authorities. VIII

10 In Germany, the regional infrastructure investments were made on strictly commercial grounds in connection with the liberalisation of the telecommunications market. The municipality-owned companies (Stadtwerke) saw the possibility to increase their income by constructing networks with connections to already existing infrastructure. Telecommunication investments in the form of urban networks have probably gone furthest in Sweden and Germany. A corresponding development can also be found in Great Britain, where urban networks, however, have mainly come about thanks to private initiatives. IX

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