Telecommunications Act (1993:597)
including amendments (1996:416) and (1997:397)

Introductory provisions

Section 1
This Act contains provisions governing telecommunications activities. For the purpose of this Act

telecommunications message means sound, text, pictures, data or other information conveyed by aid of radio transmission or light emission or electromagnetic oscillations utilizing especially devised conductor;

telecommunications services means the conveyance of telecommunications message for the account of a third party;

mobile telecommunications services means telecommunications services with radio-aided connection of subscribers in a mobile termination point;

telephony services means telecommunications services which consist of speech transmission and which permit transmission of telefax messages and data communication via low-speed modems;

telecommunications activities means conveyance of telecommunications messages via telecommunications network or the provision of network capacity for such activities;

telecommunications network means an installation intended for the conveyance of telecommunications messages.

network capacity means transfer capacity in a telecommunications network or part thereof

leased lines means network capacity between termination points referred to in the Council Directive 92/44/EEC of 5 June 1992 on the application of open network provision to leased lines.

interconnection means the physical and logical connection of telecommunications networks enabling telecommunications services provided in a telecommunications network to operate between the termination points of all users, both fixed and mobile, and where users are afforded the possibility of access to services provided in the network.

By telecommunications activities is not meant broadcasting of sound radio programmes to the public or other activities as specified in Chapter, 1, Article 1, third paragraph, first sentence of the Fundamental Law on Freedom of Expression.

Section 2
The provisions of the Act aim at ensuring that private individuals, legal entities and public authorities shall have access to efficient telecommunications at the lowest possible cost to the national economy. This implies, inter alia

1. that anyone shall be able to use, at his/her permanent place of residence or regular business location and at an affordable price, telephony services within a public telecommunications network,

2. that everybody shall have access to telecommunications services on equivalent terms, and

3. that telecommunications shall be sustainable and accessible during crises and wartime.

The Government or the public authority appointed by the Government may decide that private individuals, legal entities and public authorities shall be ensured access to telecommunications services or network capacity through public procurement.

Section 3
When implementing the Act the endeavour shall be to create scope for and maintain efficient competition within all parts of the telecommunications sector as a means of achieving the objectives specified in Section 2.

Section 4
In addition to this Act, the Radio Communications Act (1993:599) applies to telecommunications activities involving the use of radio transmitter(s).


Mandatory notification

Section 4 a
Within a public telecommunications network, the following services may only be provided following notification to the authority appointed by the Government (the supervisory authority)

1. telephony services to a fixed termination point,

2. mobile telecommunications services,

3. other telecommunications services requiring allocation of capacity from the numbering plan for telephony under Section 21, and

4. network capacity.

The Government or, if authorised by the Government, the supervisory authority may issue regulations concerning exemptions from mandatory notification.

Section 4 b
The Government or the public authority appointed by the Government shall notify to the European Commission the undertakings that pursue telecommunications activities and have a significant market power in Sweden.


Mandatory licence etc.

Section 5
In addition to what follows from Section 4 a, a licence under this Act is required in order to be entitled to provide within a public telecommunications network telephony service to a fixed termination point, mobile telecommunications service or network capacity, if the activity is of an extent which is considerable with regard to area covered, the number of users or other comparable circumstances.

A licence may relate to a specific area or to the whole of Sweden.

Section 6

Matters concerning licences are dealt with by the supervisory authority.

Section 7
The supervisory authority shall upon application, issue an advance decision if a licence according to Section 5 is required for any specific telecommunications activity. The advance decision applies to the time and on the preconditions in other respects as specified in the decision.

Section 8
The supervisory authority may grant exemption from the mandatory licence obligation under Section 5 if there are special reasons for this.

If needed in order to monitor the development of the telecommunications sector, the Government or the public authority appointed by the Government may issue regulations concerning the duty of persons conducting, within a public telecommunications network, telecommunications activity not subject to the obligation to give notice according to Section 4 a to provide information concerning the activity.

Section 9
A licence shall be effective until further notice. Licence(s) relating to the providing of mobile telecommunications services may however be limited in time.

Section 10
A licence may be revoked if the activity is pursued in contravention of this Act or in contravention of provisions or conditions issued under the Act, provided that the deviation is not to be regarded as of minor importance. However, if no special reasons exist, a licence may not be revoked before the licence-holder has been afforded an opportunity to take remedial action.

Should the deviation relate to only a certain part of the activity, the revocation is to be limited to such part.

A licence may also be revoked if the preconditions for the grant of licence no longer exist or the licence-holder so requests.

If the licence is revoked, the supervisory authority may decide how the activity is to be wound up.


Examination of licence applications

Section 11
A licence according to Section 5 shall be granted unless the applicant is not capable of pursuing the activity on a permanent basis and with adequate capacity and quality. Special provisions on licence to provide mobile telecommunications services are contained in Section 12.

Section 12
When it is the matter of granting licence to provide within a public telecommunications network new or substantially revised mobile telecommunications services and when in such a case it may be assumed that the frequency spectrum which can be allotted to the activity concerned is not sufficient for granting licences to all who wish to pursue such activity, applications are to be dealt with through a procedure of general invitation to apply.

This also applies when the frequency spectrum allotted to a mobile telecommunications service is extended or in other ways permits the grant of further licences without restricting current use. The invitation procedure shall only relate to this frequency spectrum thereby made available.

The Government or, if authorised by the Government, the supervisory authority may issue regulations as to the objective criteria to be applied when considering licence applications according to this Section.


Licence conditions

Section 13
A licence according to Section 5 to pursue telecommunications activities may be subject to conditions concerning obligations for the licence-holder

1. to provide on certain conditions telephony services to a fixed termination point to anyone requesting such service,

2. to provide, having regard to available capacity and on certain conditions, network capacity to anyone so requesting,

3. to provide information about the owner of the activity,

4. to conduct the activity permanently and with good capacity and quality,

5. to fulfil in a certain way that prescribed in Sections 17a and 20 b,

6. to publish on reasonable conditions in its own telephone directory information about individual telecommunications subscriptions at entities subject to mandatory notification, to the extent that such information is not subject to obligation of confidentiality according to law, and

7. to, without special compensation, maintain automatic telephones, to the extent which as regards number and geographical coverage satisfies public needs.

A licence under Section 5 to conduct telecommunications activities shall be combined with a condition to fulfil in a certain way that prescribed in Section 14 a.

The Government or, if authorised by the Government, the supervisory authority shall make detailed regulations on the manner in which licence conditions shall be satisfied.

Section 14
Licence conditions shall apply to a specific period of time. Amendments of licence conditions under a current conditional period may be effected only subject to reservations in conditions issued or with the consent of the licence-holder and upon consultation with other licence-holder(s) whose activities are directly affected by the amendment.


Secret telecommunications interception, etc.

Section 14 a
A party granted a licence under Section 5 shall pursue the telecommunications activities so that decisions concerning secret telecommunications interception and secret telecommunications monitoring may be executed and so that the execution is not revealed.

The content of and information about the telecommunications messages subject to interception or monitoring shall be made available so that information may be easily dealt with. (Act 1996:416)


Providing of telecommunications services etc.

Section 15
A party providing telecommunications services or network capacity within a public telecommunications network shall satisfy reasonable demands on functionality and technical safety in the activity conducted.

Section 16
A party conducting an activity which, according to Section 4 a, is subject to an obligation to give notice may not, apart from usual commercial terms, make other demands for connection to a telecommunications network than those necessary to enable an interaction between telecommunications services or those needed in order to prevent damage being caused to the network or its users or disturbances being caused to the operation of the network.

Section 17
The Government or, if authorised by the Government, the supervisory authority may issue detailed regulations as to the requirements under Section 15 and 16.

Section 17 a
A party conducting an activity which, according to Section 4 a , is subject to an obligation to give notice is liable

1. to conduct the activity on the preconditions arising by virtue of the international agreements that Sweden has agreed to,

2. to have regard in the activity to the needs of persons with disabilities of special telecommunications services,

3. to contribute to enabling telecommunications messages to be conveyed to public emergency services,

4. to recognise the needs of the Swedish Total Defence of telecommunications in times of alert,

5. to submit annual reports on those parts of the activity which are subject to the obligation to give notice, following application of principles especially adapted to the activity, and to make such reports available to the supervisory authority or the party nominated by the authority.

6. to provide, on reasonable terms, to any party who, for the purpose of providing enquiry services, so requests such information about the telephone subscription of a private individual or legal entity as is not subject to the obligation of confidentiality according to Section 25, first paragraph, item 1 of this Act,

7. to provide in its activities, on reasonable terms, to the public information about the telephone subscription of private individuals or legal entities with other parties subject to the obligation to give notice to the extent that they are not subject to an obligation of confidentiality according to law, and

8. to, for statistical purposes, provide information about the activity.

The Government or, if authorised by the Government, the supervisory authority may issue detailed regulations concerning the way in which, and to what extent, the obligations in the first paragraph shall be fulfilled.

Section 17 b
The Government or, if authorised by the Government, the supervisory authority may prescribe that a party holding a licence according to Section 5 and who possesses a dominant position in the Swedish market shall keep business accounts on a particular part of the activity affected by the licence separately from other activities.


Telecommunications tariffs etc.

Section 18
The tariffs of a licence-holder for the use of telephony services between fixed termination points within a public telecommunications network and for the provision of network capacity within such a network shall be based on the costs of the licence-holder. Licence-holders shall keep the tariffs publicly available.

Section 19
Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 18, the Government may prescribe that tariffs for telephony services between fixed termination points within a public telecommunications network must not exceed a certain level.


Interconnection

Section 20
A party supplying telecommunications services subject to an obligation to give notice according to Section 4 a, is liable on request to facilitate interconnection with any other party providing telecommunications services notified under the said Section.

This also applies to a party which within a public telecommunications network provides other telecommunications services to an extent which, having regard to the area covered, number of users or other comparable circumstance is considerable.

The compensation for the provision of interconnection of telephony services delivered to a fixed termination point shall be fair and reasonable in relation to the performance costs. The same shall apply to interconnection of telephony services to a mobile termination point if this service is supplied by a party having significant power in the market for interconnection and is notified in accordance with Section 4 b. Market terms may be decided for other kinds of interconnection.

In exceptional cases, the supervisory authority may grant exemption from the obligation under the first paragraph if the interconnection requested should, to a significant extent, restrict the activity of the party obliged to interconnect.

Section 20 a
A party conducting interconnection shall give notice of those technical alterations to the network which affect interconnection to the supervisory authority in good time before implementation.

Section 20 b
In addition to that provided by Section 20, a party supplying telecommunications services subject to the obligation to notify under Section 4 a and which is notified in accordance with Section 4 b, is liable

1. to meet every reasonable demand for access to the telecommunications network for the purpose of interconnection,

2. to publish tariffs for interconnection,

3. to offer equivalent terms to everybody who requests interconnection,

4. to provide, on request, all information necessary for agreements on interconnection,

5. to supply the supervisory authority with agreements concerning interconnection, and

6. to, in their accounts of the business keep revenue and expenditure related to interconnection separate from other activities.

The first paragraph, items 2 and 6, do not apply to a party supplying mobile telecommunications services.

A party notified according to Section 4 b shall, on request by the supervisory authority, prove that the compensation for interconnection is as stated in Section 20, second paragraph, first sentence.

If a tariff referred to in the first paragraph, item 2, does not apply with this Act or with licence conditions or with regulations issued under the Act the supervisory authority may decide that the tariff should be changed in certain respects.

Section 20 c
If extraordinary reasons exist the supervisory authority may, in order to satisfy essential public interests, decide that a party providing telecommunications services subject to an obligation to give notice under Section 4 a, shall conduct interconnection with another party conducting such activities.

The supervisory authority may in that connection determine the conditions necessary for the interconnection.

Section 20 d
A party providing network capacity within a public telecommunications network is liable on request by another party providing such network capacity to co-operate in the interconnection of the telecommunications network with its telecommunications network in order to maintain permanent connection links in the networks.

As regards such connection, the provisions concerning interconnection in Sections 20 a and 20 b, first paragraph, items 3-5, and second paragraph and 20 c apply.


Numbering plans

Section 21
The Government or, if authorised by the Government, the supervisory authority shall determine numbering plans and may issue provisions on the plans and their use.

Section 22
A party providing telecommunications services within a public telecommunications network or in interconnection with such a telecommunications network is obliged to observe numbering plans determined.


Charges payable to responsible authorities

Section 23
The Government or, if authorised by the Government, the supervisory authority may make regulations concerning the liability to pay charges for the operations of the supervisory authority under this Act on the part of those who in accordance with this Act

1. pursue activities notified in accordance with 4 a,

2. give notice of such activities,

3. apply for a licence, or

4. apply for advance decision.

The Government or the authority appointed by the Government may prescribe that a party pursuing activities notified in accordance with Section 4 a shall pay a charge to finance measures related to defence preparedness in the telecommunications sector.


The obligation of confidentiality etc.

Section 24
A telecommunications message may be monitored in the telecommunications activity only to the extent that this is necessary in order to carry on the activity.

Section 25
A party who has in telecommunications activities become cognizant of or obtained access to

1. information on a telecommunications subscription,

2. the contents of a telecommunications message, or

3. other information relating to any specific telecommunications message

must not without authorisation forward or utlilize what he/she has become cognizant of or obtained access to.

The obligation of confidentiality, as defined in the first paragraph, does not apply in relation to a party who has participated in the exchange of a telecommunications message or who has in some other way dispatched or received such a message. The obligation of confidentiality with regard to information as referred to in the first paragraph items 1 and 3 does not apply in relation to a holder of a subscription used to convey a telecommunications message.

Section 26
Obligation of secrecy as referred to in Section 25, first paragraph applies also to information relating to

1. measures to retain dispatches as referred to in Chapter 27, Section 9 of the Code on Judicial Procedure,

2. any matter relating to the use of secret telecommunications interception or secret telecommunications monitoring according to Chapter 27, Section 18 or 19 of the Code on Judicial Procedure.

Section 27
A party pursuing telecommunications activities and who has in so doing become cognizant of or obtained access to information as referred to in Section 25, first paragraph, shall upon request render

1. information as referred to in Section 25, first paragraph, item 1, to a public authority which in an individual case is in need of such information for service pursuant to the Service of Documents Act (1970:428) if the said authority considers that it may be assumed that the party sought for in order to be served is keeping himself/herself unavailable or that there are otherwise extraordinary reasons,

2. information as referred to in Section 25, first paragraph, item 1, which concerns suspicion of a crime, to the public prosecution authority, police authority or any other public authority whose task it is to intervene against such offence, if the penalty prescribed for the offence is prison and if it may, in the view of the authority, entail a sanction other than fines.

3. information as referred to in Section 25, fist paragraph, item 3, which concerns suspicion of crime, to the public prosecution authority, police authority or any other public authority whose task it is to intervene against such offence, unless a less severe sanction than two years in prison is prescribed for the crime.

4. information as referred to in Section 25, first paragraph, item 1, to an enforcement service in need of the information in enforcement operations, if the authority consider that the information is of considerable importance for dealing with a matter,

5. information as referred to in Section 25, first paragraph, item 1, to a tax authority in need of the information for operations relating to the checking of tax or charges or in investigations concerning the correct population registration district under the Population Registration Act (1991:481), if the authority considers that the information is of considerable importance for dealing with the matter,

6. information as referred to in Section 25, first paragraph, item 1, to a police authority, if the authority considers that the information is required in connection with providing notification, tracing or identification in the event of accident or fatality or in order for the authority to perform information referred to in Section 12 of the Police Act (1984:387),

7. information as referred to in Section 25, first paragraph, item 1, to the police authority or public prosecution authority, if the authority consider that the information is needed in a special case in order that the authority may fulfil obligations to provide information in accordance with Section 31, third paragraph of the Act with Special Provisions concerning Young Offenders (1964:167).

Section 28
The provisions of the Official Secrecy Act (1980:100) shall apply, instead of the provisions of Sections 25-27, in relation to public administration functions.

The provisions of the Data Act (1973:289) shall apply with regard to other personal data entered in personal registers used in telecommunications activities than such as are referred to in Section 25, first paragraph.

Section 29
Whoever has, in other cases than those referred to in Section 25, first paragraph and Section 26, by means of a radio receiver listened to or otherwise, by using such a receiver, obtained access to a radio-transmitted telecommunications message not intended for himself/herself or for the general public, must not without authorisation pass it on to others.


Official recognition of telecommunications operators

Section 30
The Government or the public authority appointed by the Government may make the necessary regulations required for recognition of telecommunications operators under the International Telecommunications Convention.


Supervision etc.

Section 31
The supervisory authority shall exercise supervision of compliance with this Act and the regulations and conditions made under the Act.

The supervisory authority is entitled for the purpose of supervision

1. to receive upon request the information and documents needed, and

2. to obtain access to such areas and premises and other spaces, with the exception of dwellings, where activities subject to this Act are carried on.

The supervisory authority is entitled to obtain execution by the enforcement service of decisions relating to supervision measures according to the second paragraph. In this connection the provisions of the Code on Enforcement apply to such activity as is referred to in Chapter 16, Section 10 of the Code.

Section 32
In exercising supervision the supervisory authority shall devote special attention to the concluding of agreements on interconnection and on the granting of access to network capacity, in accordance with this Act and licence conditions issued, and to the use of number resources according to numbering plans.

If a dispute arises relating to the application of the Act or of the regulations or licence conditions issued under the Act, the supervisory authority shall expeditiously investigate the situation and, if special reasons do not suggest otherwise, mediate between the parties. The authority may in such a dispute express its views if requested by a party.

Section 32 a
During negotiations concerning interconnection terms, the supervisory authority shall, on the request of either party, set a time-limit within which the negotiations shall be concluded. If the negotiations are not concluded within the time-limit, the supervisory authority shall mediate between the parties.

Section 33
The supervisory authority may issue the injunctions and prohibitions required to ensure compliance with this Act or the licence conditions or regulations issued under the Act.

Should disputes ensue during negotiations concerning interconnection terms, or terms for connection of network capacity in accordance with Section 20 d the supervisory authority shall, on the request of either party, to the extent necessary to ensure compliance with the Act or licence conditions or regulations issued under the Act, stipulate what shall apply between the parties concerning the issues subject to the dispute.

Section 33 a
The supervisory authority may direct a person conducting an activity subject to the obligation to give notice in contravention of this Act or regulations issued under the Act to completely or partially cease the activity. The authority may in that connection decide how the activity shall be wound up.


Penalties, etc.

Section 34
Repealed by Act (1997:397)

Section 35
A person who violates the obligation of confidentiality prescribed in Section 29, intentionally or by negligence, shall be sentenced to a fine. In petty cases no sanction shall be imposed.

The Penal Code contains provisions concerning liability of persons breaching the obligation of confidentiality prescribed in Section 25 or 26.

Section 36
Directions or prohibitions under this Act may be made subject to a default fine.


Appeal

Section 37
A decision taken by the supervisory authority under this Act or pursuant to regulations issued by the Government under the Act may be appealed to the general administrative courts.

Leave to appeal is needed in order to appeal to the administrative court of appeal.

A decision which does not entail revocation of licence or the imposition of a charge, is immediately effective unless otherwise decided.

The supervisory authority and the court considering an appeal may decide that a decision of revocation of licence is immediately effective if there are special reasons for so doing.


Telecommunications activities in war, etc.

Section 38
If Sweden is at war or in danger of war or should such exceptional circumstances prevail which are entailed by war outside Sweden’s borders or by Sweden having been at war or in danger of war, the Government may issue the provisions on telecommunications activities required in having regard to the defence of the country or safety in other respects.

The Government or such public authority appointed by the Government may issue regulations governing the peacetime planning for meeting the needs of the Total Defence system of telecommunications under such conditions as are specified in the first paragraph.

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1. This Act* shall enter into force on 1 July 1997.

2. A party which at the time of the entry into force of the Act holds a licence according to Section 5, shall be considered as having given notice in accordance with Section 4 a. As regards other parties carrying on, at the time of the entry into force of the Act, an activity subject to an obligation to give notice according to Section 4 a, shall give notice to the supervisory authority by 1 November 1997 at the latest.

3. In matters concerning application for licences, the new provisions shall apply to determinations made after the entry into force of the Act.

4. The provision in Section 37 concerning leave to appeal does not apply to cases when the first decision in the matter is made before the entry into force.

* 1997:397

Till PTS hemsida.