Swedish regulator Post & Telestyrelsen (PTS) is consulting with the European Commission (EC) to discuss the potential deregulation of the country’s fixed telephony market. The PTS and the EC share the view that there is no longer a need to regulate fixed telephony market segments due to the waning popularity of circuit-switched (PSTN) telecoms in recent years. This decline has been largely due to operators moving away from using traditional fixed telephony services towards more advanced technologies such as IP and fibre, whilst many consumers are opting out of fixed telephony options altogether in favour of mobile services.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, the PTS confirmed in its latest annual report that IP telephony (VoIP) overtook traditional PSTN telephony to account for the largest share of fixed voice connections in Sweden by the end of 2015. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database says that Swedish incumbent PSTN operator Telia continues to be categorised as holding significant market power (SMP) in fixed call origination, obliging it to offer cost-oriented rates (whilst all operators who terminate fixed calls on their networks are categorised as having SMP in the market for fixed call termination). The Swedish market segment under consultation with the EC is ‘fixed telephony services’ (formerly regarded as the distinct markets for fixed access and fixed call origination).