Government looks at plans to split up TeliaSonera

20 Apr 2007

Sweden’s Infrastructure Minister Åsa Torstensson has commissioned a report from the country’s telecoms regulator, the PTS, on how TeliaSonera could be split into separate infrastructure and services divisions. She has also asked the PTS to look at alternatives to splitting the Swedish-Finnish owned group, which comprises elements of both countries’ former monopoly operators. The move is partly in response to Swedish alternative telcos’ complaints about the firm’s dominance over the infrastructure-based fixed line and broadband markets. In a statement released on Thursday, Torstensson said that ‘Sweden has fallen behind in rankings showing the number of homes with broadband connections. I hope that PTS can work out a proposal that will create greater possibilities for more households to get broadband.’ TeliaSonera has previously resisted calls to separate, but the company has vowed to give its competitors fairer access to its network. The PTS’s study is due to be completed on 15 June. The regulator has been asked to create ‘clear rules of engagement’ for all telecoms companies. The Swedish government is the largest shareholder in TeliaSonera with a holding of 45.3%, whilst the Finnish government has 13.7%, with the rest distributed. The Swedish government is planning to divest some of its interest in the telco as part of a wider privatisation programme.