ICT − Information and communcation technologies
By any measure, Sweden is one of the world’s leading information and communication technologies (ICT) nations. Several reports name Swedes as the world's foremost users of information technology − such as mobile telephones, computers and networks − while other studies show that Sweden has one of the world's highest rates of internet usage and one of the fastest broadband networks.
People, businesses and public authorities in Sweden are among the quickest to adopt new technologies, applications and services, and so technology companies from around the world often use the country as a test market for new products. Huawei, Intel, Motorola, Oracle, Symantec and ZTE are among the foreign companies conducting research and development in Sweden.
Sweden is the birthplace of wireless technologies such as GSM, WCDMA, LTE and Bluetooth. Networks manufactured by Ericsson, one of Sweden’s biggest companies, handle almost half of the world’s mobile traffic, while in recent years many smaller Swedish startups have broken through on the world ICT stage. The Astonishing Tribe, a Malmö-based designer of user interfaces, so impressed the mobile industry that it was bought up by BlackBerry manufacturer Research In Motion, while the imaging technologies of Scalado, from nearby Lund, are in nearly 1 billion camera phones worldwide.
Virtually all (99 percent) of Swedes aged under 30 go online every day, and for the population as a whole the figure is 78 percent. Half of all four-year-olds in Sweden use the internet, and one in five three-year-olds has. Eighty-nine per cent of Swedes have internet access at home. Interestingly there are more than 12 million mobile phone subscriptions registered in Sweden – not bad for a country with just over 9 million residents.
One reason for Swedes being so advanced in their use of ICT was the “PC Reform” launched in the late 1990s. This encouraged Swedish households to buy computers by giving them the right to purchase them through their employers on favorable terms. Many took advantage of the opportunity and Sweden soon became one of the nations with the highest rates of computer ownership.
As several smart Swedish start-ups are emerging on the global information and communication technology (ICT) stage, Sweden ranks number one in the digital economies of the world. Interesting innovations and cutting-edge technologies abound.
Tired of finding herself in the minority at computer conferences, Heidi Harman decided to set up a network of her own. So she co-founded Geek Girl, a social network for women who are into IT. On April 29, 2012, the first UK Geek Girl Meetup was arranged in London. Sweden.se met Harman to talk about women and the web.