Tele2 AB
Publicly traded Aktiebolag
Traded as Nasdaq Stockholm: TEL2 B
Industry Telecommunications
Founded 1993 (1993)
Headquarters Stockholm, Sweden
Key people
Mike Parton (Chairman), Allison Kirkby (CEO)
Products Mobile and fixed-line telephony, cable TV and Internet services
Revenue SEK 25.955 billion (2014)
SEK 3.490 billion (2014)
Profit SEK 2.211 billion (2014)
Total assets SEK 39.848 billion (2014)
Total equity SEK 22.682 billion (2014)
Primary ASN 1257
Peering policy Selective
Traffic Levels 100+ Gbps

Tele2 AB is a major European telecommunications operator, with about 14 million customers in 9 countries. It serves as a mobile phone operator.


Tele2 started as a telecommunications company in Sweden in the late 1970s by the company Industriförvaltnings AB Kinnevik. In 1981, a mobile phone provider called Comvik started as an alternative mobile phone operator to Televerket (today known as Telia Company). The cable television provider Kabelvision AB started in 1986. Comvik changed its name to become Comviq when the company got a GSM license in 1988 and started operating in 1992.

In 1991, Sweden's first commercial ISP was started with the Swedish IP Network (SWIPnet, AS1257) by Industriförvaltnings AB Kinnevik, later known as Tele2, and in 1993 with telephone liberalisation in Sweden, Tele2 started to offer international calls.

Countries in which Tele2 operates are in green, countries in which Tele2 no longer operates are in red.

The three companies of Comviq, Kabelvision, and Tele2 came together as the Tele2 brand on fixed-line services and Comviq on mobile services in Sweden in 1997. International growth came in the form of acquisitions in Estonia, Latvia, Russia & France. Today it serves as a major telephone company in the Nordic and Baltic nations, together as an alternative provider in many others.

Tele2 operates in Austria, Croatia, Estonia, Germany, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, and Sweden .[1]


Tele2's most recent development has been to realign its geographic footprint towards Eastern Europe and the Nordic region focusing on own infrastructure based operations which provide higher growth options and possibly better margins for the future. One area of notable success has been the growth of the mobile Internet broadband connectivity. Tele2 has achieved the most success in Russian market, with a customer base increasing by the hundreds of thousands yearly.

In 2007 the company sold its holdings in Belgium to Dutch operator KPN, in France to SFR and activities in Spain and Italy to Vodafone Italy, in Portugal to Clix and in Switzerland to TDC Sunrise. In March 2008 Tele2 divested its Austrian MVNO operations to Telekom Austria, although retaining its fixed line and internet services. In June 2008 Tele2 sold its Liechtenstein and Luxembourg holdings to Belgian operator Belgacom. The same month Tele2 sold its Polish operations to Netia.

Tele2 also tried to sell its German unit in 2007,[2] although no sale actually took place.

In 2005 they sold their UK & Ireland fixed operations to the Carphone Warehouse for £8.7m.[3] They also pulled out of the Finnish market stating problems with the competitive and regulatory environment[4] after the Finnish government had previously cancelled their 3G licence, due to not completing a network in time.[5]



Tele2 operates in Austria since 1999, starting as an alternative fixed-line telephone operator. ADSL internet services were introduced in 2003. One Year later, Tele2 Austria bought UTA Telekom AG, a former competitor, and became the largest provider for alternative telecommunication service in Austria. In addition to fixed-line services, Tele2 Austria is using their infrastructur for carrier services. In the first quarter of 2013, Tele2 Austria had an EBITDA of 38,2 Millionen Euro, a rise of 6 percent.[6]

In a brief press statement on 11 November 2014, the Sweden-based telecoms group has confirmed that it plans to re-enter the Austrian mobile sector in the second half of 2015.[7]


In Croatia, Tele2 operates a 3G network at 42.2 Mbit/s, same as competitors but at much wider area, nearly every area covered in standard 3G has access to this 3.75G technology. As of October 2015, it has 885,542 customers. Revenue for 2015 is 83.72 million euros. On 1 February 2016 Tele2 Croatia started its 4G LTE network. It covers every major city and its surroundings.[8]


Tele2 is operating an HSPA-enabled 3G network in the 900 MHz and 2100 MHz bands as well as a 2G GSM network in the 900 MHz and 1800 MHz bands.

Tele2 commercially launched its 4G LTE network in the 1800 MHz and 2.6 GHz bands in November 2012. The 800 MHz LTE band was added in May 2014 and 2100 MHz in July 2015. Tele2 claimed an LTE population coverage of 90% in September 2015.[9]

In early 2012, Tele2 acquired Televõrgu AS which operated a CDMA2000 1xEV-DO Rev. A network in the 450 MHz band under the 'Kou' brand name. This network was shut down in January 2016.[10]


Tele2 used to operate as 2G MVNO in France use Orange network for coverage and joined to Virgin Mobile in 2009.

They also used to operate alternative fixed line & internet services which they sold to Vivendi unit SFR for €350 million in 2006.[11]


In Germany, Tele2 provides fixed broadband via ADSL as well as fixed telephony. In July 2013, Tele2 launched mobile voice plans on the E-Plus network.[12]


51% of Mobile Telecom-Service LLP was purchased by Tele2 in early 2010 to serve as a base for the company's mobile services in Kazakhstan. Tele2 has an option to buy the remaining 49% of Mobile Telecom-Service LLP within 5 years after the contract was closed. Tele2 is the smallest of three mobile operators in Kazakhstan with about 4.3 million customers.


Tele2 operates as one of the largest nationwide 2G/3G/4G MNO(Mobile Network Operator) in Latvia. Tele2 Shared Service Centre is also located in Latvia.


Tele2 operates a nationwide GSM network in Lithuania.


Tele2 operates as a 2G/3G MVNO and in the fourth quarter of 2015 will launch the worlds first 4G-only MNO in the Netherlands with nearly 850,000 customers in addition to fixed network triple play services, serving over one million customers in total.

Tele2 purchased Versatel in the Netherlands in mid-2005 which allowed it to move away from carrier select services via KPN and onto own infrastructure. The new Tele2 Netherlands offer a full suite of triple play services.

On 15 July 2010, Tele2 demonstrated the first LTE network in the Netherlands on the frequencies (2600 MHz) it was awarded licenses for earlier the same year.

In late 2010, Tele2 Netherlands acquired BBned from Telecom Italia.

The telecom regulator in the Netherlands, Agentschap Telecom, held a multiband auction which concluded on 14 December 2012.[13] Tele2 was awarded 2x10MHz in the 800 MHz band which together with its previous 2.6 GHz license will enable Tele2 to cost efficiently build a high capacity LTE network with national coverage. Tele2 paid €161M for its licenses which can be considered low, compared to the €1.3bn that KPN and Vodafone paid each for their frequencies and the €900M that T-Mobile will have to pay for theirs. The considerably lower price will enable lower prices for customers of Tele2 and increase competition on the Dutch market. €3.8bn was raised in the auction, which is unprecedented for a country with a population of a mere 16 million.


Tele2 Norway consists of the brands Tele2, OneCall, MyCall and Network Norway. On 7 July 2014, it was announced that Tele2 would be acquired by Telia Company. On 5 February 2015, the deal was approved by Norwegian competition authorities.

Russian Federation

Tele2 started the operations in the Russian Federation by acquiring 12 regional mobile operators from its sister company Millicom in 2001. This has been expanded to a current 43 regions and with a customer base of over 21 million subscribers, Russia is Tele2's largest market by customer base.

On 28 March 2013 Tele2 announced that they would sell their Russian operations to the bank VTB for USD 2.4 billion plus USD 1.15 billion in net debt.[14]


Sweden is where Tele2 originated and it remains one of its strongest markets serving over 4 million customers.

When the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority awarded four licenses for the 3rd generation mobile networks in December 2001, Tele2 was among the winners. Notably Telia, the former telephony incumbent in Sweden, did not receive a license and so an agreement was established to build a 3G network jointly by Tele2 and Telia using Tele2s license. SUNAB builds, owns and operates that 3G network.

A similar company, Net4Mobility, was formed in 2009 between Tele2 and Telenor for the purpose of building a joint 4G (or LTE actually) network. Unlike 3G, both the parent companies were awarded frequency licenses and so it is likely that this network will outperform other Swedish operators networks simply because there are more available frequencies for the customers. The 4G product was officially launched on 15 November 2010 and currently (as of May 2012) covers over 90 municipalities.[15] "National" coverage, able to serve 99% of the population in Sweden, has an expected completion date at the end of 2012. As the equipment used by Net4Mobility can serve both LTE and 2G, the new network built primarily for LTE will also replace the aging 2G networks of Tele2 and Telenor, providing lower cost through shared infrastructure. In addition, it enables EDGE, a service previously not available via Tele2.


During its operation in the United Kingdom[16] and Italy,[17] Tele2 was criticised for using the practice of telephone slamming (changing consumer's residential phone line over to a new provider without their consent). In Italy the company was also criticised for blocking P2P traffic without warning its consumers.[18]

The company was also criticised for faking a meteorite landing in Latvia in October 2009, as a result of which the Latvian government cancelled its contract with Tele2.[19]

It is currently under investigation for competition and acquisition irregularities in Lithuania, as well as losing its case brought by its Lithuanian competitor through the competition watchdog over LTE ad speed claims. BITE, its fastest growing Lithuanian competitor won its case through the competition authority.[20] It has also been fined and criticised by The Competition Council over misleading advertising.[21]

It has grown a reputation for aggressive market practice and has been involved in court cases and legal criticisms in several other countries, including Poland.

Tele2 pulled out of the Finnish market stating problems with the competitive and regulatory environment[4] after the Finnish government had previously cancelled their 3G licence.

See also


  1. "Where we operate". Tele2. Retrieved 8 July 2014.
  2. "". Retrieved 9 May 2013.
  3. "Tele2 sells up in Britain - The Local". Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  4. 1 2 "Tele2 pulls out of Finland - The Local". Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  5. "Finland cancels Tele2 3G licence - The Local". Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  7. "Tele2 Austria to re-enter mobile sector in 2H15". TeleGeography. 11 November 2014. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
  8. "Novi igrač na tržištu: H1 postaje i mobilni operator! , Aktualno, hrvatska, Tehno&iQ". Retrieved 9 May 2013.
  9. "Evolution to LTE Report" (PDF). GSA. 29 October 2015. Retrieved 12 January 2016.(registration required)
  10. "Tele2 Estonia closing CDMA-450 network in January". TeleGeography. 1 December 2015. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  11. "Tele2 sells French operations - The Local". Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  12. "Tele2 launches mobile voice plans on E-Plus network". TeleGeography. 5 July 2013. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
  13. "Multiband Frequentieveiling Afgerond". 14 December 2012. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
  14. "Tele2 to sell Russian operations for USD 2.4 bln". Telecompaper. Retrieved 9 May 2013.
  15. "Upptäck 4G från Tele2". Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  16. Brignall, Miles (23 April 2005). "When slamming the phone prompts a row". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 30 April 2008.
  17. "PI: Contratti non richiesti, la Polpost visita Tele2". Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  18. "Tele2 limita il p2p sulla sua rete ma ai clienti non lo dice: multa - Tecnologia -". Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  19. Ward, Andrew (28 October 2009). "Tele2 in a hole over "meteor" publicity stunt". The Financial Times. CNN. Archived from the original on 31 October 2009. Retrieved 2 November 2009. (archived)
  20. "Bite Lithuania files lawsuit against Tele2". Retrieved 2016-05-16.
  21. "Competition Council of the Republic of Lithuania". Retrieved 2016-05-16.
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