Stockholm smart city, the capital of Sweden, encompasses 14 islands and more than 50 bridges on an extensive Baltic Sea archipelago. Stockholm is a leading smart city with innovative projects aimed at improving sustainability, mobility, and quality of life for residents. These Stockholm smart city projects include a smart grid, energy-efficient lighting, efficient public transportation, autonomous transportation, smart waste management, and data analytics. With a commitment to sustainability and innovative design, Stockholm has won awards for its urban development projects and has reduced carbon emissions by 44% since 2010.
In 2022, the population of Stockholm will reach one million people. This requires continuous development and innovative and effective urban planning. Currently, there are over 100 active and planned construction projects in and around the city – all with a strong focus on sustainability and the Stockholmers of today and tomorrow.
In the city of Stockholm’s vision 2030, we travel just over 20 years into the future and arrive in the leading growth region in Europe. With the help of the city of Stockholm’s e-strategy, we are now laying the foundation for the reality of the future, an attractive, world-class IT capital.
Stockholm smart city project examples
Stockholm is considered to be one of the leading smart cities in the world, with several innovative projects aimed at improving sustainability, mobility, and quality of life for residents. Here are some examples of implemented projects, future plans, interesting facts, project names, and statistics of achievements:
Implemented Stockholm smart city project :
Smart Grid: Stockholm has implemented a smart grid that uses renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, to power the city. This has resulted in a 25% reduction in carbon emissions and has made the city more energy-efficient.
Smart Lighting: Stockholm has deployed energy-efficient LED streetlights that use sensors to adjust lighting levels based on traffic and pedestrian activity. This has resulted in a 50% reduction in energy consumption and has saved the city millions of dollars in electricity costs.
Public Transportation: Stockholm has one of the most efficient public transportation systems in the world, with buses, trains, and trams running on renewable energy sources. The city also has a bike-sharing program that has over 200,000 users.
Autonomous Transportation: Stockholm is planning to become a leader in autonomous transportation, with plans to test autonomous buses and trucks in the coming years. The city also plans to deploy autonomous shuttles to transport passengers to and from public transportation hubs.
Smart Waste Management: Stockholm is developing a smart waste management system that uses sensors to monitor waste levels and optimize collection routes. This system will reduce the number of waste trucks on the road and improve the efficiency of waste collection.
Data Analytics: Stockholm is using data analytics to improve the efficiency of city services, such as traffic management and waste collection. The city has developed a platform that enables city officials to analyze and share data across departments and agencies.
Stockholm has been named the European Green Capital twice, in 2010 and 2016, recognizing the city’s commitment to sustainability.
The Stockholm Royal Seaport project, a large-scale sustainable urban development project, has won several awards for its innovative design and sustainability features.
Stockholm has the highest percentage of people commuting by bike of any capital city in Europe, with over 20% of residents biking to work.
Project Names and Statistics of Achievements:
Smart City Stockholm: This project aims to create a sustainable and livable city through the use of smart technologies. Stockholm has reduced its carbon emissions by 44% since the project began in 2010.
Stockholm Royal Seaport: This project is a large-scale sustainable urban development project that incorporates smart technologies, green spaces, and sustainable design principles. The project has reduced energy consumption by 50% and water consumption by 60%.
Stockholm Data Parks: This project uses the excess heat generated by data centers to heat buildings in the city, reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions. The project has reduced carbon emissions by 8,000 tons per year.
Stockholm.se is the meeting place for Smart City Stockholm residents. Several exciting services are being developed there. You can read about this development already now, apply for preschool, and much more. It will also be easier and more attractive to run a business, which will benefit Stockholm’s business community.
Today more than 800,000 people live in our capital and more are moving in. We should always be accessible to Stockholm residents, by phone and on the internet. We are making it easy to be a Stockholmer!
We all have one thing in common: we are all different with very different needs. From those needs, we can create opportunities. Therefore, we are constantly thinking of you and other Stockholmers as we build the Smart City Stockholm
of tomorrow. Because it should be easy to be a Stockholm resident.
Both in stockholm.se and in the city. Stockholm is a fantastic city offering many services. One of them belongs to you. “My services” is your page at stockholm.se which you can easily use for your e-services and other interests. You just log in, whenever you want and wherever you are, to do your business.
Visit stockholm.se today and see what it has to offer. You can pick and choose from the services the City provides. Why not find out the latest political decisions, book a parking space in the city center or give your opinion on snow clearance? There are many possibilities and more will be added continuously.
We shape Stockholm Stockholm together with you. Therefore it is important that those of us who work for the City are accessible. Our contact center allows you to get in touch with us fast without needing to know whom to contact. You can always reach us on the web, by phone, and by email.
The City of Stockholm has the very important task of reporting what is happening in Stockholm and the political decisions taken in the City Hall. We do this by publishing the information in the streets and public places. We also do it on our website. You can always feel at home at stockholm.se!
We are continuing our efforts in providing broadband for all and new services for mobile phones. An exciting development of the geographic information systems of the future is also taking place. They show the way with flexible route descriptions and allow you to study future city plans. This is all designed to make Stockholm a more accessible, more attractive and more modern city to live and work in.
With new technology, a lot of things become easier. For example, applying for a planning permit or a license to serve alcohol. Our growing range of e-services makes life easier for all Stockholm business owners. Stockholm.se is also at your disposal 24 hours a day. Welcome to a more open Stockholm.
Stockholm has become the capital of freedom of choice. Better infrastructure means that we can now live in the countryside with the city just a few keystrokes away.
Wherever you live in Stockholm, it should be easy to move freely between the different city districts Therefore, digital cooperation between municipalities, the county council, public authorities, and private operators is important.
This cooperation makes the services provided by the City both efficient and accessible.
We are also developing cooperation in the nursing and health care area and creating a joint website at which guardians and next-of-kin can quickly access the information and services they need. Because even in difficult times,
it should be easy to be a Stockholmer.
The Eco - Smart City Stockholm
Stockholm is growing rapidly and enjoying a positive stage in its development, where many people are attracted to the city to realize their dreams of a good life. The high ambitions within the area of climate and the environment must be matched by efforts for a socially sustainable city.
The Smart City Stockholm
To achieve the City’s environmental goals, efficient cooperation between inhabitants, the private industry, the public sector, and many other players is crucial. Environmental and information technology are both key priorities in developing a sustainable society.
European Green Capital 2010
Stockholm was the first city to receive the award of European Green Capital by the EU Commission in 2010. By presenting good examples and sharing experiences and ideas with other cities, the goal behind the award is to improve the global environment long term.
Smart City Stockholm, Sweden
2.909 Smart Points
A vision of a green Stockholm smart city project
The City Council of Stockholm has adopted Vision 2030. Vision 2030 is a vision for the development of the city from now to the year 2030. The goal is to become one of the world’s cleanest, safest and most beautiful cities where Stockholm is a world leader in information technology and in the development, commercialization, and application of new environmental and energy-related technologies. But Vision 2030 is also envisioning Stockholm as an energy-efficient city where the use of non-fossil fuel reduces the city’s total emissions of greenhouse gases.
Stockholm has every chance of achieving these goals. The city and the Mälardalen region already have an efficient public transport system whose environmental impact is minimal. New bypass routes will further reduce the environmental impact while simultaneously enhancing accessibility. Stockholm aims to be a world leader when it comes to public transport usage by its inhabitants, to establish a safe cycle route network, and to offer convenient water-based transport options.
The City Council has also approved Stockholm’s environmental program, 2008-2011. The program’s goals steer the environmental work of the city as a whole and act as guidelines for individual committees and administrations. The environmental program is based on the city’s previous environmental programs and surveys, which have highlighted the city’s most important environmental issues and health risks.
A green IT strategy
Stockholm has a worldwide reputation for environmental awareness and a good living environment. In many respects, therefore, the city can already be regarded as a groundbreaker in the field of environmental issues. Maintaining this position does, however, demand an ongoing effort.
If the City’s environmental goals are to be achieved, it must work in partnership with its inhabitants, private industry, and other players. The employees of the City have an important part to play, both in terms of the internal environmental work and in the context of their roles and dealings with the city’s inhabitants and private industry. In many cases, people must change the way they live and work and adopt a new attitude toward environmental issues. Environmental technology and information technology are two particularly important areas when it comes to realizing a sustainable society.
Green IT is a collective name for the measures designed to reduce our environmental impact with the aid of IT. It involves both using information technology to reduce our environmental impact and reducing the energy consumption and environmental impact of the IT sector as a whole.
Green IT is a strategic and management issue, which is why it is important that environmental issues are considered from an operational viewpoint. Doing so clarifies the ways in which the municipality can reduce its environmental impact across the board.
“Green IT – a strategy for the City of Stockholm” applies to the City’s administrations and Stockholms Stadshus AB, including its subsidiary companies. The strategy has been adopted by the City Council and is administered by the Executive Office.
Strategic starting points
The City of Stockholm’s Green IT strategy is based on the overall goals of the City’s environmental program and a realization of the City’s e-strategy. The starting point is to create an IT environment that is accessible and reliable and meets the operational requirements for functionality and cost-effectiveness. A citywide, standardized and modern IT infrastructure is fundamental to Green IT.
The IT program and the e-strategy
Realizing the City’s IT program and e-strategy has a direct impact on the environment, thereby creating synergies for Green IT and enabling the municipal operations’ and IT sector’s negative environmental impact to be minimized.
The City of Stockholm’s e-strategy takes a combined approach to a number of key IT issues that affect every aspect of the municipal operations. It describes the most important goals for change, the actions required, and the effects that the City expects to achieve.
The environmental program
- Environmentally efficient transport – The City’s goal is to create a long-term sustainable transport system, based on new technology, non-fossil fuels, and more information.
- Non-toxic products and buildings – The City shall minimize the dispersal of harmful substances by choosing eco-friendly products and services. Environmentally sustainable methods and materials shall be used during development and construction work.
- Sustainable energy usage – If the greenhouse effect is to be reduced, energy must be used more efficiently and the energy used must come from renewable sources. The use of energy-efficient technology will enable the city to be a major player in environmentally driven growth and development, and to reduce its operating costs.
- Sustainable use of land and water – Long-term sustainable usage of land promotes economic development without jeopardizing important environmental values.
- Environmentally efficient waste management – Efficient and eco-friendly waste management is an important part of society’s infrastructure. The City’s goal is to minimize the amount of waste produced and to increase the percentage utilized through re-usage and recycling.
- A healthy indoor environment – The City’s goal is to reduce the number of people who suffer from problems due to their indoor environment, particularly in preschools, schools, and housing for the elderly.
- Reduced greenhouse gas emissions – The City’s Environment Administration has explored the actions necessary to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 3.5 or 3.0 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents per Stockholmer by 2015. The cost-effectiveness of the two alternatives is being examined with regard to investment costs, operating costs and interest expenses.
- In 2005, emissions totaled appr. 4 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents per person. The City intends, in cooperation with all of its administrations and companies, to generate proposals for measures and investments that will increase energy efficiency within the individual operating spheres.
- Increased energy efficiency in the City’s administrations and companies – There is considerable potential for increasing energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the City of Stockholm. The biggest potential for increased energy efficiency lies with the City’s property-owning companies and administrations, through the implementation of new technical solutions within the property holding. The sectors predominantly responsible for carbon dioxide emissions are:
- Property heating (45%)
- Transport (31%)
- Electricity usage (24%)
The IT sector currently accounts for appr. 2% of emissions. On a global level, this is comparable with the emissions from air traffic.
IT as eco-technology – actions areas
Green IT is, to a large extent, about using information technology to reduce individual organizations’ environmental impact. In which way can IT help reduce environmental burdens elsewhere in society? This is the main question to be answered in order to create substantial environmental benefits.
Action area: energy-efficient buildings
New solutions that offer better control over energy consumption in buildings result in reduced energy consumption and a minimizing of the buildings’ environmental impact. The City’s goal is to reduce its operating costs with the aid of energy-efficient technology and thereby helping to promote environmentally driven growth and development. The goal is to reduce energy usage in the City’s own buildings and facilities by 10 percent based on the levels of the year 2006.
- Create routines in which the tenant informs the building manager at what times the building is in use. The building manager adjusts the run times for heating, ventilation, and lighting.
- Encourage the development of new technology designed to reduce energy-related emissions from buildings.
- Control heating, ventilation, cooling, and lighting using specially adapted IT-based control systems.
- Create routines that ensure lighting is turned off in empty buildings and install presence control in premises that are occupied at certain times only.
Action area: illustrate and visualize energy and electricity usage
Increasing energy efficiency involves, amongst other things, illustrating and visualizing electricity and energy usage. Technical solutions offer considerable potential for increasing the energy efficiency of the property holding.
- Clarify principles and rules determining how much hot water (and heating) are included in the rent and generate incentives for both parties to save energy.
- Introduce individual metering and charging for consumption (electricity, water, heating, cooling, and lighting) in residential buildings and business premises.
Action area: environmentally efficient transport
The need for transport will continue to increase. Personal transport and freight transport have increased by 14 percent and 26 percent, respectively over the last ten years. Considerable potential exists, both for increasing the efficiency of existing methods of transportation and for changing the need for transportation and travel. Information technology and reliable access to geographic information are some of the most important tools in changing and revitalizing the transport sector.
The City’s goal is a long-term sustainable transport system, based on new technology, non-fossil fuels, and expanded information. Accessibility and availability must be increased for various different types of traffic, with the support of new technology and IT.
Traffic disruptions in conjunction with a range of emergencies must be reduced. The City’s goal is also, with regard to its own operations, to reduce the environmental burden generated by its own and externally procured transportation.
- Develop traffic management support and provide advanced IT solutions for the gathering and presentation of information on the latest traffic situation.
- Develop intelligent transport solutions (ITS) and IT support for navigation.
- Introduce travel planners and navigation support for different types of vehicles and road-user groups.
- Route-optimise and coordinate planning of a larger percentage of internal and procured transportation through more efficient IT support.
- Establish reliable access to geographic information and exploit the information with the aid of modern information technology.
Action area: eco-friendly travel
Alternatives to travel are being increasingly widely discussed. Promoting a developmental trend whereby mobility is replaced with accessibility requires active efforts to reduce the need for physical travel. Information technology can generate new opportunities for reducing the environmental impact of personal transportation. Creating alternatives to travel also offers the potential for more flexible working.
- Enable environment for business travel.
- Measure and visualize vehicle usage more clearly.
- Promote cycling by providing access to navigation support.
- Generate the preconditions for changing the way we work (mobile working, electronic locks, e-commerce, internal/external e-services).
- Visualize the environmental effects of travel to and from work and what this means in terms of reduced carbon dioxide emissions.
Action area: digital meetings
Current technology enables traditional meetings to be replaced by digital ones, leading to a direct reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. The Stockholm smart city project goal is to replace physical meetings wherever appropriate.
- Enable digital meetings by instituting standard functionality in the workplace or by procuring web services.
- Generate incentives for employees to choose digital meetings.
Action area: development of e-services
We can minimize our environmental impact by continuing to invest in e-services that replace paper forms and reduce travel.
- Prioritize the development of e-services that reduce environmental impact and increase operational efficiency.
Action area: digital case and document processing
Digital mailshots of committee documents will enable committee members to retrieve case-related material digitally. The City must implement efficient storage measures to make document searching and retrieval simple and easy, and must enable digital signatures for meetings’ minutes and resolutions.
- Generate the preconditions that will enable the committee members to retrieve documents digitally before committee meetings are held.
- Enable documents to be signed digitally.
- Continue to invest in the development of e-archives and the connection of operating systems and services to the e-archive.
- Develop IT support for workflows.
- Supply digital project support (project portals).
Greener IT – action areas
Green IT is also about reducing the energy consumption and environmental impact of the IT sector itself. An investment in Green IT can make it easier for the municipality to work with IT in a more eco-friendly way and, at the same time, to save money. It’s a question of, amongst other things, how best to use the existing IT environment, the right mindset when purchasing new IT services, and the proper approach to developing the IT environment in the longer term.
Action area: eco-friendly IT procurement
Eco-friendly public sector procurement is not just a means of reducing emissions of carbon dioxide and other environmentally destructive substances: it is also a means of cutting public sector costs by an average of 1 percent.
- Impose standardized requirements on hardware, software and service providers. The activities primarily involve imposing requirements with regard to energy consumption and operating emissions, material choices and chemical content, production processes, recycling, transportation, packaging, environmental management, and quality systems, etc.
- Communicate future requirements to suppliers. The City is a major customer that can exert influence by demonstrating that sustainable IT usage is important.
- Improve the environmental impact and energy consumption calculations.
- Reduce environmental impact by instituting standardized routines for recycling and reuse of paper, batteries, mobile phones, computers, monitors, printers and other peripherals.
Green data centers and Green data communications
If the City consistently imposes demands on the services its suppliers provide, we can increase the efficiency of the operating environment and minimize its environmental impact. The environmental impact in the data communications sphere can be reduced by setting environmental criteria for the acquisition and operation of network equipment. In the IT infrastructure and operations spheres, Green IT is primarily about reducing energy consumption by making optimum use of networks and other infrastructural resources.
- Demand sustainability reports from existing suppliers.
- Formulate requirements before impending procurements and contract revisions
- Require external suppliers to buy eco-friendly electricity.
- Impose requirements on external suppliers with regard to eco-certified hardware. • Implement server consolidation.
- Implement application consolidation.
- Replace old equipment with new.
- Consider internet-based services.
- Generate preconditions for wireless communication.
- Integrate telephony with data communications.
Action area: green workplaces
There are a number of ways to reduce energy consumption from workplaces and peripheral equipment. The basis of this work is a standardized workplace.
- Equip all computerized workplaces with multiway sockets so that monitors, loudspeakers, mobile phone chargers, transformers with site lighting, etc., are turned off when the computer is inactive.
- Activate energy-saving settings on all computers, printers/photocopiers, etc., and connect them to timer controls that turn the equipment off at the end of the working day.
- Require eco-certified hardware.
- Configure software for energy-saving settings when the equipment is inactive.
- Consider using laptops and thin clients.
Action area: more efficient printouts
The City’s goal is to minimize the environmental impact of printouts.
- Reduce printout volumes by using printout confirm functions.
- Consolidate printout functions and wind up the use of local printers. • Implement double-sided printouts as standard.
- Only permit color printouts when specifically required. • Use eco-labeled paper and toner.
- Implementation, training, and follow-up
- Responsibility for implementation and follow-up
The Executive Office is responsible for the planning and implementation aspects of the establishment and launch of the City’s steering documents in the IT sector. This will initially involve providing information on the Green IT strategy and clarifying the need for this strategy. The implementation of the Green IT strategy is not a project: it is a process that requires ongoing evaluation. It is estimated that realizing the strategy will require a 3-5 year implementation period.
The responsibility in the City for ensuring compliance with and monitoring of the Green IT strategy is at the executive level of administrations and companies. The Executive Office is responsible for ensuring that directives and regulations are issued, describing how the follow-up and monitoring work is to be carried out.
The process shall track the City’s operational planning and budget process, in order to ensure that IT and Green IT development are steered not only by operational goals and requirements but by the City’s overall goals.
For the City’s committees and company boards, this means that a range of indicators must be established before work begins on the budget. The City’s integrated management system (ILS) allows committees and boards to plan and follow up on goals and to determine the results achieved by the operations in connection with the implementation of Green IT.
Visualizing Green IT
Illustrating and visualizing energy usage generates incentives to reduce energy consumption and electricity usage. The City’s employees and students should be trained and involved by means of general orientation in the City’s environmental work. Administrations and companies are responsible for ensuring that they have the requisite in-house competence to achieve the operational goals.
To this end, a website should be developed with the aim of evaluating environmental investments from both an economic and an environmental viewpoint. The City’s Environmental Barometer should be further developed to enable the effects of the measures implemented to be visualized. The City of Stockholm’s systems for operational and budgetary follow-up work, and for administering buildings and premises, should be complemented with functions for following up on environmental impact.
An e-learning training package should be produced to provide training on environmental issues and Green IT for the City’s employees and students and be made available to the City’s administrations and companies.
The Eco Stockholm smart city project
Stockholm is growing rapidly and enjoying a positive stage in its development, where many people are attracted to the city to realize their dreams of a good life. All new Stockholmers need housing, workplaces, commercial services and public services such as schools and pre-schools. The city needs to expand, develop and maintain all infrastructure like streets, power lines, and public transport. The high ambitions within the area of climate and the environment must be matched by efforts for a socially sustainable city.
In Vision 2040 – A Stockholm for everyone, Smart City Stockholm is described as a climate-smart city that prioritizes cycling, walking and public transportation. An efficient, climate-smart transportation system is combined with a greater consumption of renewable energy. Children are guaranteed a non-toxic environment and more organic food is served at city facilities.
The City adopted its first comprehensive environmental program in 1976. Since then, a line of programs has been put forward, with persistently high ambitions and new challenges. The environmental program 2016-2019 is the ninth consecutive effort and clarifies the City’s direction. A large dose of innovative competence is required to meet the challenges and reach the City’s targets. Many of these challenges affect several different sectors, and the City needs to continuously seek new forms of cooperation and new ways of thinking.
The program starts with today’s prevailing challenges to Stockholm having a living environment, both outdoor and indoor, that is sustainable. It focuses on the challenges that lie within the area of responsibility of the City of Stockholm but also encompass the objectives that demand action from actors outside the mandate of the City. Therefore, the environmental program consists of both the direct influence the City has through its own operations in the form of manpower and property and that which the City indirectly can influence, for instance, residents’ emissions of greenhouse gases and the environmental interference caused by traffic.
Main goals of Stockholm Smart City mission
The environmental program is centered around six comprehensive environmental targets which constitute a local specification of the 16 National environmental quality objectives that are most relevant for Stockholm.
- Sustainable energy use
- Environmentally friendly transport
- Sustainable land and water use
- Resource-efficient recycling
- A non-toxic Stockholm
- A healthy indoor environment
- The Stockholm Environment Programme 2016-2019
Strategy for a fossil-fuel-free Stockholm smart city project by 2040
The strategy for a fossil-fuel-free Stockholm describes how the city needs to work to meet and manage the challenge of climate change.
Stockholm is part of the OECD’s Green Cities Programme for green growth. The Green Cities Programme offers selected cities to participate through case studies, which form the basis for an analytical OECD Flagship report. In addition to Stockholm the cities of Paris, Chicago and Kitakyushu (Japan) also participate in the program.
The Green Cities Programme assesses how urban green growth and environmental policies can improve economic performance and environmental quality in cities. The aim is to increase the cities’ contribution to national growth, highest quality of life and competitiveness.
C40 is a group of large cities committed to tackling climate change. Big cities play a central role in fighting climate change. By fostering a sense of shared purpose, the C40 network offers cities an effective forum in which to work together, share information and demonstrate leadership. On the 19th of July 2019 Mayor Anna König Jerlmyr was elected to the C40 Cities Steering Committee, the governing body providing strategic direction for the network.
A green economy leader
London School of Economic’s report Stockholm – Green Economy Leader, produced in partnership with the City of Stockholm, shows that Stockholm took early action to build a green economy – unlike most cities, environmental policies have been important to Stockholm for over 40 years. At the same time, early infrastructure investment such as building the city’s metro system in the 1950s, and development of district heating following the 1970s oil shocks has helped to build today’s lower-carbon economy.
Efficient public services are key factors in a thriving city and they should be characterized by a common desire to prioritize citizens’ different needs and desires. The city’s responsibility is to provide support and facilitate in everyday life. Applying for permits, schools, elderly care or to plan the commuting route to work, are just a few examples of popular e-services offered.
e-Stockholm – The Smart City of Stockholm’s strategy for e-services digitalization and new technology of the future
Sweden has achieved major international success in a wide range of industries, from steel and forestry to security and retail. But in one industry, in particular, the country has excelled – telephony. Ever since American Alexander Graham Bell first received a patent for the telephone in 1876, Sweden has ranked among the world’s leading telecom nations. What’s more, the Swedish ‘telecom miracle’ has largely been achieved in the Stockholm region.
Sweden owes its success in telecom to the contributions of countless individuals: brilliant inventors, daring entrepreneurs, far-sighted politicians and skillful government officials at the national and municipal levels. Even so, chance and luck have also played a major role in its success. Today, Sweden – and the Stockholm region in particular — is one of the world’s premier regions for information and communications technology (ICT) in terms of both technological development and use. The world’s first-ever 4G network was brought online here in 2009.
Stockholm enjoys 100-per cent broadband coverage, both fixed and mobile. Stokab’s network is the world’s largest open fiber network. In total, it stretches the equivalent of more than 30 times around the earth. It is 1.25 million fiber kilometers long, 5,500 cable kilometers long and boasts 600 crossover connections (nodes) and more than 15,000 access points (ODF).
In a report entitled Networked Society City Index 2013, Ericsson compared the ICT maturity of 31 cities based on their economic, social and environmental development. Stockholm ranked no. 1, followed by London, Singapore, and Paris. Today, Stockholm’s Kista region is one of the world’s leading mobile technology clusters. In 2012, Kista Science City was home to 10,000 companies employing a total of 72,000 staff, of which 1,200 were ICT companies with 24,000 staff in total.
One of the world’s most connected cities
Stockholm’s fibre solution is constantly contributing to making the city more attractive to businesses in general and the tech sector in particular.
The goal of the City’s fiber network efforts is to build a competition-neutral infrastructure capable of meeting future communication needs, spur economic activity, diversity and freedom of choice, as well as minimizing disruption to the city’s streets. The fiber network in Stockholm is provided and administered by Stokab, a company owned by Stockholm City Council.
The Electromechanical Exchange
One reason for merging the two telecom companies was the question of automation, an area where Sweden had begun to fall behind internationally. It is true that both SAT and LM Ericsson had developed their own patents for automatic exchanges. But due to an agreement signed between LM Ericsson and the Telecommunications Administration, no cooperation concerning these patents was possible for the Swedish market. The merger between LM Ericsson and SAT changed this, and the new company was now able to build on the two merged companies’ R&D.
After lengthy discussion and intense international competition, the Administration decided in 1921 to allow LM Ericsson to build an as-yet-untried automatic exchange for installation in Stockholm. The local company was chosen even though there were a number of exchanges in use around the world manufactured by foreign companies. LM Ericsson’s first 500-point switching system was brought online in Rotterdam, Netherlands, in 1923. Later that same year, a pilot telephone exchanged nicknamed ‘Jeriko’ was also opened in Vasastan, Stockholm. The exchange remained in operation until 1985. The 500-point switch went on to become the world’s most widespread electromechanical telephone system. Sales did not start to decline until the 1970s and the last 500-point switch was manufactured in 1982.
The Stokab Model
The Stokab Model was based on two important insights. The first was that dynamic development of the new markets opened up by the Internet and broadband required competition between operators with a free right of establishment. The second was that the high fixed costs of building municipal networks would constitute an obstacle to achieving this. It was neither desirable nor possible to justify the cost of digging up streets and running cable or pipes to properties multiple times for multiple suppliers.
The first insight was timely, while the other was far from trivial. In 1993, the Swedish electricity, postal and telecommunications markets were opened to competition, although the politicians and civil servants who had prepared the reforms did not fully understand how to manage the obstacles to competition posed by monopolistic bottlenecks within an infrastructure. The result was that government departments, public authorities, and courts were quickly overwhelmed with requests to resolve conflicts between new companies like Citymail and Tele2 and the incumbents concerning the right to access such infrastructure. Neither was it a given that the problem would be resolved as it had been in Stockholm, that is, through a neutral owner building and operating the basic infrastructure – the passive dark fibre network – and leasing it on equal terms to competing operators who would provide the active, ‘intelligent’ network components that power the network and/or sell network services to end-customers. As mentioned above, in the end, Telia retained control of the infrastructure, but it was ordered to make it available to its competitors. In time, this proved to require a complex set of regulations. Another possible model for managing competition was to allow competing companies to form ‘infrastructure clubs’ so as to operate the infrastructure jointly.
In hindsight, the Stokab Model has proven to be a smart institutional innovation. The other models considered were encumbered by various problems. Without introducing certain measures, competition was not achieved. Assigning responsibility for the network to one company on the condition that it allows its competitors access to it requires extensive regulation. Allowing competing companies to form an infrastructure club can amount to the same thing as allowing them to build a cartel, which effectively chokes competition.
The Stokab Model was a new way of solving a classic problem within open competition legislation. One of the purposes of competition law is to act against companies that abuse their positions of dominance. One form of abuse occurs when a company uses its monopoly in one area of an added-value chain to limit competition in other areas.
More than 100 years after the competition between Stockholm Bell and SAT that drove prices down and facilitated the telephone’s rapid spread began, history is repeating itself. Stokab’s operator-neutral network has fostered major competition, low prices, a well-developed network and a high level of ICT use. Stockholm is considered to have the highest proportion
of citizens and businesses using ICT solutions of any city in the world.
Stokab’s first customer was the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), which required a fibre-based connection between its teaching facilities at Valhallavägen Street in inner-city Stockholm and Kista. The expansion of the network began in the commercial area of Stockholm’s inner city and quickly spread to larger industrial estates. One important breakthrough came in the mid-1990s when the Stockholm County Council decided to connect all its major healthcare facilities using fibre-optic cable, which created hand-over points in every municipality in the county. The move allowed the County Council to purchase telecom and datacom services as one service subject to competition, and thereby reduce its costs by 50 percent, or SEK 60 million annually.
Over the years, Stockholm’s network has grown. Twenty years after its launch, more than 90 percent of households and nearly 100 percent of businesses in the City of Stockholm 54 are able to connect to the network. By the start of the new millennium, almost all schools in the city were also connected to the network, which meant that it had been established in all of Stockholm’s suburbs. In the early 2000s, the network was further extended via Mälarringen, which connects separate municipal networks around the Mälardalen region. The fibre-optic network was also extended to cover Stockholm’s archipelago, so that all its larger, inhabited islands are connected. By early 2005, practically all neighborhoods in Stockholm’s inner city were connected. In 2007, the extension of the Fibre to the Home project to multi-family properties began. Work was completed at the beginning of 2013.
According to research institute Acreo Swedish ICT, Stokab’s network has generated a national economic profit of at least SEK 16 billion. This profit takes the form of more jobs, increased property values, and lower broadband prices. The network has also allowed for the extension of the 4G mobile networks, with four operators. It also creates conditions conducive to developing services, including cloud services, smart e-services, and other innovations.
Thanks to its well-developed open fiber network, Stockholm is well equipped to meet today’s challenges, and tomorrow’s.
Kista Science City
Kista Science City is now the natural meeting place for anyone working in ICT (Information and Communication Technologies). Since IBM and Ericsson moved to Kista in the 1970s, over 1,000 other ICT companies have followed suit. They now collectively constitute one of the world’s foremost ICT clusters.
Kista Science City is the leading ICT cluster in Europe. The cluster is home to some of the world’s most famous ICT companies such as Ericsson and IBM, as well as a range of exciting startups and the leading universities of Stockholm. Kista is also an arena for future technology – our testbed Urban ICT Arena is located here, where 5G and IoT technologies are being tested.
Kista Science City is built upon the Triple Helix Model – an innovation collaboration between businesses, the public sector, and academia.