New Fixed Networks market report from Business Monitor International: "Sweden Telecommunications Report Q3 2013"
Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 07/26/2013 -- The Swedish telecommunications market is one the most developed in the world with high penetration levels for mobile voice, mobile data, fixed-voice and broadband services. This makes Sweden a mature market, with diminishing growth opportunities. In March 2013, Sweden saw an overall decline in subscriber numbers for the first time in BMI's records, dating back to 2005, and began feeling the effects of the price erosion that affected many Western European markets in 2012. Meanwhile, in terms of technology, Sweden is at the forefront of development with, not only high levels of next generation wireline and wireless data services, but also machine-to-machine services and other consumer value-added services.
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- Q113, dropping to a total for 4.282mn subscribers, and net adds for the year ending in March 2013 amounted to 506,000. This represents annual and quarterly growth of 3.7% and 0.0% respectively, and reflects the maturity and saturated nature of the market.
- Despite operators succeeding in their efforts to improve subscriber mixes, TeliaSonera and Tele2 both saw their ARPUS decline sharply in Q113. With price competition now to the fore and further termination rate reductions still to be factored in, we expect ARPUs to shrink to SEK188 over the 2013-2017 period.
Although the Swedish mobile market has proved robust in terms of subscriptions and ARPU compared to many markets in Western Europe in recent years, operator results for the first quarter of 2013 show that Sweden has just about reached mobile penetration. In Q113, both TeliaSonera Mobile and Tele2 register negative subscriber growth. Moreover, PTS reported data for H112 showed the number of SMSs sent per user per month declined 15.2% from 138 in H211 to 117. BMI believes operators will be unable to maintain ARPUs over our five-year forecast period to 2017, as SMS IP substitution increases with smartphone users increasingly turning to services such as WhatsApp. This trend has hit operator performance in markets such as the Netherlands, and can have a significant impact on financial performance because of the high margin nature of SMS for operators. That said, with Sweden a highly developed market, a large number of SMSs were already bundled with the subscription fee.
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