2019|04|25 – The 2019 P3 connect Mobile Benchmark in Sweden

Download the complete report as a PDF here

For the third time, P3 and connect have conducted a mobile network test in Sweden. In each year, the Swedish operators presented a very high level of performance and reliability – and still managed to continually improve their results. So, expectations for this year ‘s benchmark are high: How did the Swedish mobile networks perform this time?

Results in a nutshell

P3‘s network benchmarks are widely accepted for setting industry standards as well as being highly objective. The carefully designed methodology scheduled two drivetest cars to visit 21 large cities and 33 smaller towns in Sweden as well as the connecting roads. The areas in which we tested accounted for more than 4 million people, or about 42 per cent of the Swedish population.

Another example for P3‘s great attention to detail is the use of up-to-date LTE “Cat 9” as well as VoLTE-capable smartphones for the tests. They reflect the latest technical developments in the mobile networks and once more emphasise the scope of our benchmarking: How do the mobile networks perform at the edge of what is technically feasible – and to what extent do customers benefit from these capabilities? In order to provide valid answers to these questions, we have also used the most comprehensive mobile plans available from each operator. Also, we constantly readjust the thresholds of our evaluation to represent the latest technological advancements.

With 121 mobile subscriptions per 100 inhabitants, Sweden has a flourishing mobile communications market. And the excellent results from of our first mobile network benchmark in Sweden, conducted in 2016, have set high expectations. Still, three out of the four Swedish contenders were able to improve on their 2016 results.

Telia takes the overall win, Tele2 and Telenor show very good results. Tre clearly improves its score

For the third time in a row, Telia is the clear winner of the P3 connect Mobile Benchmark in Sweden, maintaining the lead in voice and data services as well as in the newly added crowd score. Continuously improving its score over the last years and this time achieving the highest score measured by P3 in Sweden so far, Telia well deserves the rare grade “outstanding”. Tele2 and Telenor achieve “very good”, followed by Tre with the grade “good”. All four Swedish operators have improved over their results from our previous benchmarks, with Tele 2 showing the biggest improvement and Telia as well as Tre also achieving most pronounced score increases. Telenor also gathered more points than in the years before, overall keeping its very good performance. Tele2 takes the second rank in voice and data, wheras Telenor ranks second in the crowdsourcing, one point ahead of Tele2. Tre ranks third in voice and shows a considerable score improvement over the result of our previous benchmark. In the crowdsourced assessment of service degradations, we did not observe any limitations in Tre’s network from June 2018 to February 2019.

Sweden’s operators

telia_logo

Formerly owned by the Swedish government, Telia AB merged with the Finnish operator Sonera in 2002. After the merger, the Swedish state owned 46 per cent of the new TeliaSonera and Finland a little over 19 per cent. Since then, both states have reduced their ownership in the company. Today, the company is the largest Nordic and Baltic mobile operator both in revenues and customer base.

Most of its shares are owned by diverse shareholders. In addition to its own brand, Telia operates a budget mobile service under the name “Halebop”. With approximately six million subscribers, Telia is the largest mobile network provider in Sweden.

Telia operates a 2G/3G network on 900 MHz and holds individual licenses for 4G on 700, 800, 1800 and 2600 MHz. Above that, Telia and Tele2 operate a shared 3G network on 2100 MHz in the 50/50 owned company Sunab. Today, Telia claims to cover 99.9 per cent of the Swedish population with its 4G service. Its offerings include both VoLTE and 4G+ (LTE carrier aggregation).

tele2

Sweden‘s first commercial internet provider Swipnet started in 1991 and was renamed Tele2 in 1993. In 1997, the company merged with the internet and cable operators Comviq and Kabelvision. In 2016, Tele2 also acquired the formerly Danish broadband operator TDC.

In late 2018, Tele2 closed a merger with the Swedish broadband and TV provider Com Hem. Tele2 offers a budget mobile service under the name “Comviq”. With about 3.8 million mobile subscribers, Tele2 is the second largest Swedish mobile operator.

In 2001, Tele2 established a cooperation with Telia who had not received a 3G license. Their shared 3G network is owned and operated by the joint company Sunab (Svenska UMTS nät AB) and uses the 2100 MHz frequency range. A similar joint company, “Net4Mobility“, was formed in 2009 by Tele2 and Telenor for the operation of a shared 4G network. Tele2 holds 700, 800, 900, 1800 and 2600 MHz licenses. The joint 4G network covers 99.9 per cent of Sweden‘s population and offers VoLTE as well as carrier aggregation.

telenor_logo

Telenor is a Norwegian multinational telecommunications company and one of the largest mobile network providers in the world with operations in Scandinavia, Eastern Europe and Asia. Its Swedish operation is the result of Telenor‘s purchase of Vodafone Sweden in 2005. The MVNOs Lycamobile and Vimla use Telenor’s network. With about 2.7 million mobile subscribers, Telenor is the third largest Swedish mobile network operator. Together with Tele2, Telenor holds the joint company Net4Mobility that operates 4G and 2G networks on behalf of both operators.

Through this, Telenor holds 800, 900, 1800 and 2600 MHz licenses. In addition, Telenor and Tele2 acquired spectrum at 700 MHz which is scheduled to be used for 4G in the second half of 2019. Also, Telenor has a network sharing agreement with Hutchison (Tre) for 3G in the 2100 MHz band, but the licenses are held by Telenor and Tre individually.

The joint 4G coverage with Tele2 reaches about 99.8 per cent of the Swedish population. It offers both VoLTE as well as 4G+ (LTE carrier aggregation).

3

Tre or Three is the brand name under which the multinational telecommunications company Hutchison started operating 3G (and later also 4G) mobile networks in many countries such as Australia, Austria, Denmark, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, the UK and others.

Tre Denmark and Tre Sweden have a joint network covering most of the two countries with no roaming fees to their customers in both countries. In Sweden, Tre‘s mobile network is shared with Telenor except for the cities Stockholm, Göteborg, Malmö, Lund and Karlskrona. In addition to its own brand, the network of Tre Sweden also supports the MVNO Hallon.

With approximately 2.2 million subscribers, Tre is number four regarding customer numbers in the Swedish mobile network market. Tre does not operate a 2G network, but offers 3G on 900 and 2100 MHz and 4G on 800 and 2600 MHz. Today, Tre Sweden covers about 99 per cent of the Swedish population. Its 4G/4G+ network supports both VoLTE as well as LTE carrier aggregation.

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Hakan Ekmen, CEO of P3 communications

„Telia is the overall winner of this year’s P3 connect Mobile Benchmark Sweden with the highest score ever measured in Sweden, reaching the grade outstanding for the very first time. Also, what is great news for the customers of the other Swedish mobile operators: Each of them managed to improve their scores on an already high level of performance – Tele2 and Tre even considerably.“

Telia

The clear winner of the 2019 P3 connect Mobile Benchmark in Sweden is Telia – leading the field in the voice, data and crowd categories alike. The overall score achieved by this operator is also the highest one ever determined by P3 in Sweden. For this convincing performance, Telia has well deserved the rare grade “outstanding”.

Tele2

Tele2 achieves a very good rank, showing the second-best results in voice and data and also featuring the biggest score improvement compared to its results from our previous benchmark in Sweden. In towns and on the roads, Tele2 shows particularly good voice results, outranking Telenor and Tre in this discipline, as well as a very good data performance.

Telenor

The data performance of Telenor is almost on a par with the second-ranking Tele2. However, in the voice discipline, this operator ranks a little behind the other contenders. In contrast, Telenor achieves a strong second rank in our crowdsourced assessment, only two points behind the winner Telia. All in all, the third largest Swedish operator shows a very good performance.

Tre

The smallest Swedish operator ranks third in the voice discipline and fourth in the data and crowd scores. Overall, Tre show a good performance and also achieves a considerable score increase over our previous benchmark in Sweden. Above that, we did not observe any service degradations at all in the Tre network from June 2018 to February 2019.