10 June 2014

PT forum - annual norwegian regulators forum

The Norwegian regulator invites to a yearly forum for the telecom industry in Norway.
The regulator was relocated to the small city of Lillesand some years back, and hour by plane from Oslo. 

There were some 100 participants in the forum - limited by the venue - making the event rather exclusive with CEOs and key management from the larger telecom players in Norway.

The minister of telecom and transportation Ketil Solvik Olsen, with his political advisor, as well as staff from the ministry participated the whole day - not only trough the welcoming speech. Without any political bias I think it is a good sign from the new minister that he takes time to learn from the industry.

The keynote was from professor Victor D.  Normann, NHH. He was trying to find how mobile communications influences the national economy. He took us trough the history of tele-communications from telegraph until present and made a good point that the biggest leaps was probably in the past, moving from the pony-express to telegraph, making it possible to communicate faster than the train, and saving double track on the line. The more recent leaps did not have similar impacts, but have made electronic communication a commodity which have caused an explosion in the volume of the communication, but also a reduction in the value of individual messages. In his analysis he looked at different impact on the national economy and tried to quantify these, but was surprisingly enough not able to find a direct impact.

Moving the the presentation from the industry played, the first presentation was from ICE.net and their owners Access Industries, who to everybodys suprise won part of the 4G spectrum in the recent auction. ICE.net has been providing a data only service in the 450Mhz  stated their plan to launch LTE across the different frequencies.

The main topic of the event was clearly 4G and frequencies. Several of the providers present graphs on growth showing that 4G LTE had, or would soon, pass 2G & 3G in volume. In one of the network 

Two of the providers, Lyse and Telenor talked a bit about fibre. For Lyse - a fibre only provider set up by an electricity company, the focus now is to introduce more services in their network (besides Internet, TV and Telephony) a Smart house product Smartly will be launched this autumn.

From Telenor the most interesting part of the presentation was on the redundancy and resiliency in their Network. Berit Svendsen, managing director of Telenor Norway,  showed and spoke passionately about the double and triple redundancy in the national backbone and the regional rings. The challenge is the access network were serious incidents like fire, flooding av avalanches have caused whole communities to be without connection for days. I guess we have our geography to thank for the challenges in this area.

In his closing speech Torstein Olsen, director of the NPT addressed the changing times the regulator is going trough. This is the only time the importance of numbers (phone numbers) and IP addresses was mentioned.

So my key takeaway from this event is that the Technical coordination work done by RIPE and the RIPE NCC is done so well that is it not on the radar of major Internet and telecommunication managers in Norway.