The Q3 results just reported by Telia Company, Telenor, Tele2, 3 Scandinavia and Elisa show that it’s quite difficult not to be successful as a Nordic telco today.
Revenue and ARPU is growing. OPEX grows too, but slower than the revenue, so the EBITDA margins are increasing. Churn is decreasing. CAPEX is in decline. More cash is being generated.
We have identified seven signs that competition in cooling down in Nordic telco.
Sign 1. Mobile ARPU grows
Let’s start with Norway. The reported blended mobile ARPU has quite steadily increased for the two MNOs that still report it. For Telenor it grew 4% year-on-year to Q3 2023. For Telia it grew 3%.
In Sweden, the ARPU development has been a bit more dramatic than in Norway. Three players, first 3, then Telenor and the B2B side of Tele2, witnessed their ARPUs going down from 2018 to the first half of 2021. A corona effect, you might say. Not really; it started before corona started (Q1 2020) and compare with Telia who could keep their ARPU steady or even increase it when 3, Telenor and Tele2 B2B seemingly fought a battle on price.
Norway’s Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development last week published two analyses commissioned from Tefficient.
The conclusion is summarised (in Norwegian) in a press release from the Ministry.
Both analyses are quite comprehensive and compare Norway to the three fellow Nordic countries Denmark, Sweden and Finland. It means that they are highly interesting not just for the industry and policy makers in Norway, but in all four countries.
An example graph from the fixed analysis:
Since the Ministry has made both analyses available for public download, you can access them directly and for free from here:
Fiberalliancen is a trade association for companies that own, operate and use fibre networks in Denmark. It is a part of Green Power Denmark.
For the second time (the first analysis was done in 2021), Tefficient has performed a comprehensive fibre broadband pricing benchmark covering nine European markets: Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland (new since 2021), Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, the UK and France.
As part of a press release, Fiberalliancen makes Tefficient’s analysis publicly available. Download it from the right ‘Links’ column. It’s in English.
The release concludes that:
Denmark has some of the lowest consumer prices for both new and existing fibre connections. Only French consumers generally get a better deal than Danish consumers.
Danish consumer prices – both for new and existing connections – have overall fallen from 2021 to 2022. This is only seen in Denmark and the UK.
According to Ookla, Denmark has the fastest median broadband download speeds among the countries included in the comparison.
Tefficient’s approach has been thorough and the results are presented in a set of graphs like below.