TeliaSonera AB is the dominant telephone company and mobile network operator in Sweden and Finland. The company has operations in other countries in Northern, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, South Asia and Spain, with a total of 182.1 million mobile customers (Q1, 2013). It is headquartered in Stockholm and its stocks are traded on the Stockholm Stock Exchange and on the Helsinki Stock Exchange.
TeliaSonera is the result of a 2002 merger between the Swedish and Finnish telecommunications companies, Telia and Sonera. This merger followed shortly after Telia's failed merger with Norwegian telecommunications company Telenor, now its chief competitor in the Nordic countries.
Telia has a history as a state telephone monopoly, before privatization. Sonera on the other hand used to have monopoly only on trunk network calls, while most (c. 75%) of local telecommunication was provided by telephone cooperatives. The separate brand names Telia and Sonera have continued to be used in the Swedish and Finnish markets respectively. Of the shares, 37% are owned by the Swedish government, 13.2% by the Finnish government, and the rest by institutions, companies, and private investors worldwide.
The Swedish Kungl. Telegrafverket (literally: Royal Telegraph Agency) was founded in 1853, when the first electric telegraph line was established between Stockholm and Uppsala. Sweden was one of few countries where the Bell System never got a strong hold, because Bell's invention was not patented in Sweden and a Swedish private competitor, Allmänna Telefon, was thus able to find an independent equipment supplier in Lars Magnus Ericsson. In this early competition, Telegrafverket with its brand Rikstelefon was a latecomer. However, by securing a national monopoly on long distance telephone lines, it was able with time to control and take over the local networks of quickly growing private telephone companies.
A de facto telephone monopoly position was reached around 1920, and never needed legal sanction. In 1953 the name was modernised to Televerket. On 1 July 1992 this huge government agency's regulating functions was split off into Post- och telestyrelsen (PTS), with similar functions as the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. The operation of the state radio and TV broadcast network was spun off into a company named Teracom. On 1 July 1993 the remaining telephone and mobile network operator was transformed into a government-owned shareholding company, named Telia AB. At the height of the dot-com bubble, on 13 June 2000, close to one third of Telia's shares were introduced on the Stockholm Stock Exchange, bringing solid cash to the Swedish state.
In the 1980s, Televerket was a pioneering mobile network operator with the NMT system, followed in the 1990s by GSM. Private competition in analogue mobile phone systems had already broken the telephone monopoly, and the growing internet allowed more opportunities for competitors. The most important of Telia's Swedish competitors in these areas has been Tele2. When PTS awarded four licenses for the 3rd generation mobile networks in December 2000, Telia was not among the winners, but later established an agreement to build a 3G network jointly with Tele2 using Tele2's licence. SUNAB was founded as the jointly owned company that would in turn build, own and operate the joint 3G network.
The history of Sonera dates back to 1917, when Suomen Lennätinlaitos (Finnish Telegraph Agency) was founded. In 1927, the telegraph agency was merged with the Finnish Post to form a new agency, Post and Telegraph Agency. This agency governed all long distance and international calls until 1994, when competitors were allowed to enter the Finnish market. In the same year, the Post and Telegraph Agency was divided to form two companies, Suomen Posti Oy (Finnish Post), and Telecom Finland Oy. Telecom Finland then changed its name to Sonera in 1998.
During the 2006 general election the new Alliance (which subsequently won the election, to form a coalition government) stated a policy aim to sell its stake in TeliaSonera.
On 16 March 2011 the right-center minority administration lost an important voting against the opposition consisting of Left Party, Social Democratic Party, Green Party and Democrats which stopped the selling of government-owned business, among those TeliaSonera.
In the beginning of 2008, TeliaSonera announced measures to save nearly 500 million Euros which would include 2900 redundancies: 2000 from Sweden and 900 from Finland. France Télécom (now Orange S.A.) proposed a 33 billion Euro acquisition offer for TeliaSonera on 5 June 2008, which was promptly rejected by the company's board.
TeliaSonera International Carrier (AS1299) is a tier 1 carrier.
TeliaSonera is now the largest Nordic and Baltic fixed-voice, broadband, and mobile operator by revenue and customer base. It operates Europe's largest and fastest-growing wholesale IP backbone (AS1299) and is the 10th-largest global mobile group by consolidated customers (including ownership stakes in Turkcell,Yoigo, Megafon, NetCom, and others).
TeliaSonera is a 12.25% stakeholder of the Afghanistan Roshan (telco) cellphone network.
From May 15, 2010 after Azercell made rebranding, it entered into a network of TeliaSonera.
In Denmark TeliaSonera operates a mobile operator (Telia), a mobile MVNO (Call Me) and a broadband supplier (Telia). The company started in 1995 and was a merger between Telia Stofa and TeliaSonera. Telia Mobile is the third-largest operator and is in fierce competition with Telenor, which is number two in the market. Telia was the fourth operator to launch 3G services and is the only operator to have a nationwide EDGE network.
Telia Broadband was relaunched in 2008 because of the need for TeliaSonera to have both mobile and broadband in all of their home markets (Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland). Telia Broadband was the first operator to launch digital TV with their broadband at no extra cost. Stofa is mainly a cable TV operator, but also supplies broadband via the cable TV network.
Telia and Deutsche Telekom are fighting over the right to use magenta in their marketing.
Sonera is the biggest mobile operator in Finland and also one of the biggest providers of landline telephone and Internet services. TeliaSonera also operates in Finland in the form of another company, Tele Finland Oy, which is a budget mobile operator.
TeliaSonera owns 100% of Eesti Telekom. Eesti Telekom is one of the largest telecommunication companies in the Baltic countries and the largest telecommunications company in Estonia. TeliaSonera and the Estonian government reached a deal over the sale of Eesti Telekom in September 2009.
Since 2007 TeliaSonera has owned 58.55% of the Geocell company, while Turkcell owns the remaining 41.45%.
TeliaSonera owns 100% of Omnitel, one of the largest telecommunication companies in the Baltic countries, and 88.2% of Teo LT, the largest landline phone operator in Lithuania.
TeliaSonera owns 49% of LMT (24.5% as TeliaSonera AB and 24.5% as Sonera Holding B.V.). TeliaSonera also owns 49% of Lattelecom, which owns 23% of LMT, which owns Okarte, Amigo. It also owns 100% of Telia Latvija, a business cable operator and data center operator.
TeliaSonera owns a 74,3% see-through stake of the Moldovan mobile operator Moldcell through Fintur Holdings.
TeliaSonera owns 80 percent of the shares and votes in Spice Nepal, the largest mobile operator in Nepal. Spice Nepal launched its operations in September 2005 and is the largest mobile operator in Nepal, with around 1.8 million subscriptions and an estimated market share of approximately 41 percent, as of August 2008. Spice Nepal’s net sales in 2007 and for the first six months of 2008 were 27,4 million Euro and 22,7 million Euro, respectively, and EBITDA, excluding non-recurring items, was 12,6 million euro and 12,1 million Euro, respectively. Mobile penetration in Nepal, whose population is 28.4 million, is approximately 13 percent. Also in mid March 2010 Mero Mobile was merged with Telia Sonera and rebranded as Ncell.
In Norway Telia first entered after the deregulation in 1998 as a virtual supplier of fixed telephone and Internet services. This was sold to Enitel during the merger attempt with Telenor, but Telia re-entered in 2000 with the purchase of one of the two mobile network operators, NetCom. In 2006 it also bought the virtual mobile provider Chess Communication.
TeliaSonera owns 25.2% of MegaFon, the second largest mobile phone operator in Russia.
TeliaSonera owns 76.6% of Yoigo, the fourth mobile operator in Spain.
In Sweden, TeliaSonera operates under the consumer brands Telia and Halebop. On the business side, Skanova Access and Cygate are also used.
TeliaSonera owns merge of two operators as Tcell.
TeliaSonera owns 38% of Turkcell, the leading mobile operator in Turkey. Turkcell owns 80% of BeST in Belarus and 55% of Astelit in Ukraine
In 5 years, UCell, the Uzbek subsidiary, has increased the number of its subscribers from 400,000 to 9 million (2012). Meanwhile, TeliaSonera is under preliminary investigation by Swedish prosecutors for allegations of bribery and money laundering associated with the acquisition of their 3G license in Uzbekistan from Takilant Limited, registered in Gibraltar. Under these investigations involving four Uzbek nationals, hundreds of millions of francs have been frozen in Swiss banks.
Evolution of the TeliaSonera Branding
When Telia and Sonera merged in 2002, TeliaSonera used a simple wordmark as the logo. In 2011, TeliaSonera released its new purple pebble logo to the corporation and its affiliate brands. The pebble is designed by Landor Associates.
- List of Finnish companies
- List of Swedish companies
- Yoigo TeliaSonera owned 3G operator in Spain
- TeliaSonera International Carrier