A new solution is emerging in the Norwegian telecommunications market: Wireless broadband. Telenor and Telia are already up and running, but now the competitors are coming. A group of former Telenor people will now challenge their old employer.
– You do not get better timing. The copper network will be rehabilitated, Telenor has been regulated in Market 3b by Nkom and 5G is being rolled out. The time for wireless broadband is here, says Subhan Malik.
Malik, who himself has a background from Telenor, has now started the company JetNett together with, among others, Mats Skogholt Amland, Suleman Sheikh, Subhan Malik and Petter
The new company is investing in wireless broadband and they will go straight to the throat of Malik’s old employer Telenor, Telia and other players in the market.
Fixed wireless, or wireless broadband, has together with 5G become the new and big thing that is taking over the Norwegian telecommunications market today.
No longer dependent on the cable in the wall
Wireless broadband is very similar to mobile broadband as many people already know, but it differs in two important respects: In reality you have free use (no data quota), but you can only use the service at the address the subscription is registered at.
It should therefore work like a regular broadband, but you drop the cable from the road and into your home.
E24 has previously mentioned the industry battle that is now taking place. Increasingly faster and better mobile networks, the introduction of 5G and the copper decontamination of Telenor have triggered the development that is now taking place.
Telenor started offering wireless broadband in the small last summer. The telecom giant will lay down its old copper network (landline and DSL broadband) and resort to fiber and wireless broadband as alternatives.
This means that hundreds of thousands of Norwegian homes will have to switch to new solutions.
It did not take long before Telia stepped in and launched the service, hoping to hijack old “copper customers” from Telenor and others. Recently, NextGenTel has also announced that they are launching the service, via Telia’s network.
– We believe there is a disruptive change in the market, where the cable you have in the wall will no longer determine where you should be a customer, says Malik.
– Many people lose their broadband, some cabins / holiday homes do not have access to
broadband and many are tired of being forced to choose broadband from the player that
the housing association has signed an agreement with. Wireless broadband dissolves the local monopolies
and opens up for competition, says Malik, further.
Now the competition is coming: NextGenTel will sell wireless broadband
Through a campaign on the crowdlending platform FolkeInvest, the company will now raise NOK 6.3 million.
– Is that the sum you need to get this started?
– Currently, it is the sum we need for the next three to five years, according to our business plan. But then it is always the case that the reality is never quite as planned and we also have other financing alternatives we can use as bank loans, says Malik.
He adds that the response has already been “enormous” on the platform and that the minimum amount has long been secured.
Opened the 5G network in Oslo: – It is a product that does not exactly seem
Think the market passes half a million customers
Telenor, which is the largest in this market, had 52,000 customers at its service at the end of the second quarter – and after Telenor’s quiet launch last summer, customer growth has increased sharply this year.
However, the market is expected to grow far beyond that in the months and years ahead.
Telia CEO Stein-Erik Vellan made clear this summer what the goal of Telia is:
– The goal is to pass 100,000 customers in Norway on this solution within a short time. This is a product that is very suitable in Norway with the geography and topography we have, said Vellan.
JetNett’s plan is to secure five percent of the market in five years.
– We believe this market will reach 300,000 customers in 2023 and around 500,000 to 600,000 in 2025. The rollout of 5G will only make this even more attractive, says Malik.
He and his colleagues are thus aiming for a customer base of around 25,000 to 30,000 in the next few years.
– Wireless broadband is primarily about price and what speed you can get. What are you going to compete for?
– We should not be a typical price challenger. We know this market well and based on our own market research, we see that the market is characterized by little innovation on business models, says Malik and continues:
– Today, broadband is sold as a fixed package, preferably with a TV, without the customer having any flexibility.
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Now starts a quiet 5G battle for homes where the fiber does not go
Must choose network provider
It has not yet been decided whether JetNett will lease access in Telenor or Telia’s network:
– We are in dialogue with both and want to land an agreement soon, says Malik.
He says that Telenor has come the furthest in the work of facilitating the technical for wireless broadband, among other things through how large an area is covered by the country, construction of addresses up to local base stations and other technical conditions.
– The subscription is locked to the three to five nearest base stations to the address you use, says Malik.
Although the roll-out of 5G will increase the capacity of the mobile network considerably, most Norwegian users of wireless broadband will initially be connected via the 4G network.
Even if the speed is good, the capacity is not infinite, when it comes to ensuring that both mobile and broadband users in an area experience good capacity in the network.
The National Communications Authority (Nkom) has already made it clear that Telenor is obliged to allow competitors to offer wireless broadband, just as Telenor must also allow competitors to enter their networks to sell mobile services.
– Do you want to have access to sell this solution wherever you want in Norway, or are you limited to the areas where, for example, Telenor has opened up its own service?
– There are disagreements here. As we can see, it is currently available to us in all places where Telenor itself does not offer cable infrastructure (fiber or cable TV, journ.anm.). Nkom believes this violates the principle of neutrality, and they are now working on further regulation, as far as we know, says Malik.
– We are informed that the customer base Telenor opens up to is just over one million Norwegians, he continues
– Both Telia and Telenor have begun to roll out this technology with 4G modems. Do you also want to do that or come up with modems that support 5G from the start?
– We are now in dialogue with several equipment suppliers. 4G technology has come a long way, but we see that 5G is coming. So we work for it, says Malik.