LTE, Competition, Sweden and Network Sharing

Over at Light Reading, Michelle Donegan reports that TeliaSonera over in Sweden who were early in starting their LTE network about a year ago have now gotten competition from Telenor, who has built an LTE network together with Tele2. From a consumer point of view it's great to see a second LTE network being fired up. I haven't heard of any other country in which two overlapping LTE networks are running and open to the public yet, so that's another first.

Personally, I am a bit sceptical about the network sharing part of the announcement because that reduces competition between network operators which in the long term might not only have positive consequences for the consumer. I've done some background reading and Sweden seems to be one of those countries where this is already done for 3G as well. Interestingly, the constelation is a bit different here. While Tele2 shares the LTE network with Telenor, it's 3G network is a shared operation with TeliaSonera (click on Sweden for details). Interesting triangle. 

And on top, Telenor seems to share it's 3G network with Hutch 3G according to Wikipedia. Is your head spinning? Mine is, so here's a summary:

  • TeliaSonera — LTE
  • Tele2 + Telenor — LTE
  • Tele2 + TeliaSonera — 3G
  • Telenor + H3G — 3G

Pretty much everyone with everyone, except for Hutch 3G who doesn't yet seem to have ties with TeliaSonera.