This is a controversial text with intent to influence. The opinions expressed here are those of the author (the book).
Now, with auctions ready and all players ready to cover Sweden by the end of 2023, the country, venture capital and technology companies need to think about how to make up for lost time and avoid regulatory pitfalls.
If we succeed, in five years Sweden will be a winner of the world race – again.
In the same way that the expansion of broadband in Sweden has created entirely new experiences, services, companies, and social and economic benefits, 5G will bring service development to a whole new level. Sweden is uniquely equipped to take advantage of new technology.
A report by investment bank GP Bullhound “Technology Titans” from July of last year showed that Sweden ranks third among European countries in terms of the most valuable technology companies. Then the total value of the Swedish unicorn was $ 70 billion – the equivalent of 650 billion Swedish kronor. Numerous businesses have been created and built on Swedish digital maturity: a connected country, acute education in technology and economics and technology-friendly consumers.
The audit and consulting firm PwC Global 5G Economic Impact, released in February this year, estimates that 5G within ten years has increased GDP by as much as $ 1.3 trillion in eight of the world’s largest economies. The gains are expected to be greatest in health and care, but the climate space, financial industry, media and entertainment will also benefit greatly from development.
In all of these areas, Sweden is already progressing. Under Spotify, music companies like Epidemic Sound, Kobalt Music and Soundcloud have reached billions of dollars. Innovations in health technology and fintech are also strong Swedish areas with companies like Klarna and Kry. One of the success factors noted internationally is that Swedish companies often start with a direct focus on the global market, and that digital services and products often have a high degree of design and proprietary technology.
Business and consumers are ready to take Sweden to the next level. What can the state do to stimulate this and catch up? For example, Sweden could learn from the United Kingdom, which after the decision to exclude the same suppliers as Sweden from the 5G expansion, has allocated just over 3 billion SEK to stimulating local R&D in network development.
Sweden could also get better at applying for earmarked funds from the European Union to support the expansion of 5G infrastructure. The Europe Connect Facility (ESF), which is part of the European Union’s long-term 2021-2027 budget, has more than € 33 billion in the budget. The digital portion of FSE will contribute to the development and expansion of an innovative digital infrastructure across borders.
From the telecom sector, we are now completely focused on building and connecting our customers. I am sure that there is extensive research in universities and relied upon in the business plans of venture capital firms.
The question that the cooperation parties, the government and the authorities must face in this fall’s budget is: How can the state now intervene and accelerate expansion? We’d like to see a national 5G strategy and a coordinator in the government who can bring industry and related ministries together. Significant societal gains await!
Haval Van Drampet
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