Public Procurement and the Development of the Swedish Telecommunications Market

University dissertation from Linköping : Linköping University Electronic Press

Abstract: This thesis describes and analyses public procurement and its processes in general against the framework of industrial marketing and purchasing. In particular, it focuses on the public procurement of telecommunications (“telecom”) and its effects on the de-monopolization and development of the Swedish telecom market based on empirical material from three case studies, interviews and publicly available written sources.Public procurement is a significant part of any country’s economy. There is a plenitude of publicly available data due to Sweden’s and other public administrations’ transparency policies. Despite this fact, public procurement has been poorly covered in business administration literature when compared with the private sector’s purchasing and selling activities. This thesis tries to bridge the theoretical gap between knowledge of purchasing in business-to-business (“B2B”) and public procurement.Public procurement can be considered as a special type of B2B transaction and, particularly in the case of bigger procurements, of project purchasing. The important difference is that public procurement must follow specific and stricter legislation compared with the private sector’s purchasing activities. Among other things, public procurement law restricts contact between the procuring organisation and tenderers in some phases of the procurement process, allows no changes after the publishing of the Request for Proposal and opens the possibility to appeal to the court if any party considers that the procuring organisation has not acted in accordance with the public procurement rules.The telecom market has, over a period of thirty years, been transformed from a monopoly with practically no choice to a fully competitive market with several service and equipment providers as well as different pricing schemes and competing technical solutions. The development of the Swedish telecom market can be divided into four stages: Full monopoly, partial de-monopolization, full competition and system integration. The main driving forces behind this development have been the political decision to liberate the telecom market and achieve full competition as well as rapid and diverse technical development, which includes the introduction of mobile communication, broadband and Internet.At the same time, the dependency on well functioning telecom in the public sector is constantly increasing due to political agendas such as agencies availability 24 hours 365 days (“24/7 agency”), use of telecom as a means of rationalization and increased internal efficiency as well as new usages in areas that previously were not using telecom in their daily routines. The public procurement of telecom has changed from being a relatively simple administrative issue through being of technical concern to becoming more and more of strategic importance, especially in case of outsourcing and/or procuring system integration from a prime contractor.

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