According to According to Akamai’s Q4 2015 rankings, Sweden has an average connection speed of 19.1 Mbps and an average peak connection speed of 69 Mbps, behind only South Korea (26.7 Mbps and 95.3 Mbps respectively).
Swedish Internet Penetration Rate
According to the 2017 census, there are roughly 10 million people living in Sweden. 94% are connected to the Internet as of 2012, ranking Sweden fourth in the world, behind the Falkland Islands (96.9%), Iceland (96%) and Norway (95%).
Types of Connection
The Internet in Sweden is primarily defined by the existence of broadband connections, coupled with rare occurrences of dial-up connections.
Broadband Access – Average Speeds and Market Leaders
Broadband access is divided into the following types of connection: cable, optical fiber, ADSL and VDSL. Usual speeds for each type of connection are as follows:
- Cable – 128 kbps up to 10 Gbps;
- Optical Fiber – 100 Mbps up to 10 Gbps
- ADSL – 256 kbps up to 30 Mbps
- VDSL – 256 kbps up to 60 Mbps
The Internet market belongs to the private sector, and is largely divided between ISPs. Major names include: Comhem, TeliaSonera, Hi3G, Tele2, Boxer, Bredbandsbolaget, along with many others.
The broadband market has seen a lot of investments over the years, from important companies such as Carlyle Group, which used to own 21.6% of Bredbandsbolaget. In July 2005, Norwegian ISP Telenor ASA bought Bredbandsbolaget, and has since tried to buy out the weaker competition with reasonable success.
Pricing for Basic Subscriptions – Facts
According to stats published by Numbeo, one would typically need to pay approximately $30 per month for a basic Internet subscription, but it should be noted that the price varies depending on the city the customer is located in.
As such, the average $30 price provided by Numbeo could either go down to below $20, or up to as much as $45 per month. This mainly happens because, as a general rule, most cities own their own fiber networks, and allow ISPs to offer their services over these facilities. In other – admittedly – rare cases, the fiber network is owned by the ISPs themselves.
Below you can find some of the most important characteristics of the Internet in Sweden:
1. Internet belongs to the private sector
According to recent statistics set forth by Statistkportal.se, the five largest operators in Sweden, namely TeliaSonera, Tele2, Telenor, Hi3G, and Conhem, owned a combined 91.4% of the total broadband subscriptions at the end of 2014. On the same note, TeliaSonera, Telenor and ComHem owned a combined 77.4% of the total market for fixed broadband at the end of 2014. In the same year, Telenor acquired Tele2’s private broadband customers, which significantly contributed to the increase of its market share (16.9 in 2013 to 19.6 in 2014), making it the second biggest operator on the market. It also considerably diminished Tele2’s market share, from 6.7 to 1.8%. The competition between these companies is fierce, so fluctuations in market shares have been readily apparent in each following year.
2. Great speeds with moderate costs
Bandwidthplace.com, a website which provides free analysis of Internet access performance metrics, such as connection data rate and latency (similar to speedtest.net), provides results of extensive tests carried out over a certain period of time in order to determine the download and upload speed of Internet connections in certain regions. According to these tests, Skåne County and Östergötland seem to have the highest peak connection speeds of all regions (33.07 Mbps and 27.82 Mbps respectively), easily surpassing Stockholm, which lags behind with a mere 23.07 Mbps connection speed.
3. Lenient Internet laws
Currently, there are no government restrictions on access to the Internet, nor credible reports that the government monitors day-to-day activities of Internet users without obtaining a warrant beforehand.
The OpenNet Initiative (abb. ONI), found little to no evidence of filtering in the four areas for which they carry out tests, namely politics, social, conflict/security, Internet tools).
On July 6, 2007, following up on reports of child pornography being distributed on popular file sharing websites such as The Pirate Bay, Swedish police said that they would do whatever it takes to include The Pirate Bay and similar sites in the list of blocked Internet sites. However, this never happened because the same police ruled that there was in fact no prohibited content on these websites; this came with a lot of criticism from many parties, saying that the initial decision to ban TPB had been purely political in nature.