In November 2000, UMTS licenses were issued to Telenor Mobil, Netcom, Tele2 Norway and Broadband Mobile. All the licensees have undertaken to invest millions of kroner in physical networks that should provide coverage for almost the entire population within the next five years. The substantially increased bandwidth means that the network will be able to transfer pictures and video to both handheld units and PC terminals, with an anticipated boom in services such as interactive TV, and much faster data transfer over the Internet.
Certainly, exciting times lie ahead as the possibilities of broadband technologies become apparent, where communication through cable networks allows an abundant two-way data stream between supplier and consumer. The research company Datamonitor estimates that every third home in Europe will have access to interactive television services within 2003, putting entrepreneurial Norwegian companies in pole position to build on their existing expertise and develop software solutions and content for a demanding domestic and global audience.