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Televerket (Sweden): Wikis


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The "Rikstelefon" brandmark of Televerket telephones

Televerket was the public utility company responsible for telecommunications in Sweden between 1953-1993; however, it originated 100 years earlier. Swedish Kongl. Elektriska Telegraf-Werket (literally: Royal Electric Telegraph Agency) was founded in 1853. Its name changed to Kongl. Telegrafverket in 1871, Kungl. Telegrafverket in 1903, the Kungliga (Royal) was dropped in 1946 and the name was further modernised to Televerket in 1953. The company continued as a government agency until corporatisation in 1992-1993.




19th Century

Kongliga Elektriska Telegraf-Werket was founded in 1853 when the first electric telegraph line was established between Stockholm and Uppsala, and was the government agency for telegraph and postal services. From 1871 the company was known as Kongl. Telegrafverket. The first telephone network in Sweden opened in 1880, as a result of an initiative by former Telegrafverket employees.[1] As telecommunication technology changed, Telegrafverket expanded to include telephone services, but entered the early telephone industry in Sweden as a latecomer. Through securing a national monopoly on long distance telephone lines, it was able with time to control and take over the local networks of quickly growing private telephone companies. Its network, branded Rikstelefon, was supplied with telephones produced by Swedish telephone manufacturers Ericsson[2].

20th Century

While the telecommunications industry in Sweden has always been ostensibly open, Telegrafverket effectively monopolised the market with its purchase of the telephone company Stockholms Allmänna in 1918. When Telegrafverket was renamed Televerket in 1953, the parent company and its subsidiaries had a de facto national monopoly because no other companies had the financial or technical resources to compete.[3]

From 1980 onwards this monopoly was eroded with increasing government liberalisation of the industry. From 1980 the Swedish parliament, or Riksdag, opened the market to allow competitor's telephones to be connected to the network.[3] In 1988 Televerket's subsidiary company Teli, responsible for the design and manufacture of telephones, ceased production.[4]

In accordance with the deregulation of the Swedish parliament (Riksdagen) and its Telecommunications Act of 1 July 1993, Televerket was made into a corporation, Telia AB. Thus making Sweden the first European country to deregulate its telecom market.

Televerket in the 21st Century

Telegrafverket and Televerket telephones remain highly collectible, and there is now a market for reconditioned phones that can connect to modern networks. Worthy of notice is that old telephone poles and such are still marked with the Televerket logo. Telia has since merged with the Finnish Sonera, and is now known as TeliaSonera.

Some Standard Televerket Phones

Sheet metal telephone 1894
Bakelite telephone
Bakelite telephone

Company Director Generals

  • Carl Akrell, 1853-1862
  • Pehr Brändström, 1862-1874
  • Daniel Nordlander, 1874-1890
  • Erik Storckenfeldt, 1890-1902
  • Mauritz Sahlin, 1902-1904
  • Arvid Lindman, 1904-1907
  • Herman Rydin, 1907-1927
  • Adolf Hamilton, 1928-1938
  • Helge Ericson, 1939-1942
  • Håkan Sterky, 1942-1965
  • Bertil Bjurel, 1966-1977
  • Tony Hagström, 1977-1993


External links


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