4.0     Norway’s Telecommunications Overview

Norway has telecommunications infrastructure is considered to be relatively advanced; however it is not cutting edge. There are roughly 4.5 million people in Norway which utilize 2.9 million fixed lines and 3 million mobile lines.  Internet usage in among Norwegians is also high, with roughly 65% of the population having internet access.  In addition, 54% of Norwegian homes are connected to the internet in some fashion. All these population trends are positive; however Norway still has more work to do. Broadband access is generally thought to be a problem in Norway, although this is expected to improve. Network access rates to homes and businesses generally support connections of up to 1MBit/s, which are too slow to offer more robust services. Companies have resorted to high speed leased lines; however generally find them to be expensive.



4.1     The Norwegian Telecommunication Industry

Norway just recently went through the privatization process of their telecommunications industry.  There are a growing number of telecommunications companies in Norway; however Telenor is by far the largest ICT provider.  Industry estimates indicate that Telenor has roughly about 80% of the market. The deregulation of the telecommunications industry in Norway is showing signs of improvement.  New providers are beginning to emerge in the form cable companies, electric companies, wireless carriers, and network providers are all beginning to increase competition over the business and consumer markets.


Nera SatCom (Nera) is a Norwegian company that is pioneering in ICT by developing wireless information solutions.  Nera is seaking to integrate a number of technologies (telephony, media, information, and high speed wireless) into one seamless solution.  Nera feels there will be significant demand in the future as markets develop and technologies converge.  Nera has built a wireless broadband network that allows access for these bandwidth intensive devices.  Nera has also invested in mobile satellite communications and applied this to maritime industries. The services are projected to be very popular in markets where internet usage is high.



4.2     Telecommunication Statistics

Norway has managed to establish a number of trends amenable to the knowledge economy.  Norway’s cell phone usage, internet access, wireless internet access are among the highest rates anywhere in the world (see graph 4.2.1 below). The following are a series of graphs comparing Norway to the G7 and other Scandinavian countries.




4.3     Broadband

Broadband generally refers to a network connection (wired or wireless) with more than 2 Mbits/s.  Norway is in the process of developing a stable and secure broadband infrastructure that can offer high speed connectivity via access networks to homes, businesses, government agencies, and organizations. The existing access networks allow for several types of digital connections to homes, which range from 64kBit/s to 1MBit/s. By global standards, these speeds must be improved to provide the capacity which will allow more robust services to be developed and offered to the market. Companies using high speed leased lines generally find them expensive[1] in comparison to other Scandinavian countries (see graph 4.3.1 below).


Network access is regarded as an area which needs improvement for both consumers and businesses; however the deregulation and privatization process of telecommunications in Norway are showing signs of improvement.  Electric, cable, and other network providers have entered the market; therefore increased competition expected to bring down the costs and increase the bandwidth rates for both business and consumer market. As of 2001, broadband has a penetration rate of only 0.68%[2] (see graph 4.3.2).



The Norwegian government sees this low penetration rate as a problem and is committed to nurturing the development of their broadband infrastructure. The government is pursuing broadband proliferation via the following methods:

·        Fostering competition

·        Increasing public demand for broadband services

·        Enabling broadband connection to all primary and secondary schools, public libraries, hospitals, local government by the end of 2002

·        Promoting the market to extend broadband connection to all households by the end of 2004.




General Section 4 References:

Telephone density and M-commerce information provided by the US State Department’s Internal Trade Library. http://www.stat-usa.gov/miscfiles.nsf/vwNoteIDLookup/NT000505E2/$File/SOFT0133.TXT?OpenElement


Some internet statistics taken from Statistics Norway and can be found at:  http://www.ssb.no/english/subjects/00/minifakta_en/en/.


Additional statistics on internet usage taken from www.Norwayonline.no website and can be found at:



[1] Cost of leased lines can be found at the OECD website. Link is http://www.oecd.org/EN/documents/0,,EN-documents-29-nodirectorate-no-1-no-29,00.html

[2] Penetration rates can be found at the OECD website. Link is http://www.oecd.org/EN/documents/0,,EN-documents-29-nodirectorate-no-1-no-29,00.html