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IK2214 Telecom Policies and Regulatory Principles 7.5 credits

The global telecommunication policies and legal frameworks have changed more during the last 15 years than for many decades. The previous situation with one telecommunication company in each country, essentially a monopoly irregardless if privately held or a government agency, has been gradually changed worldwide to more of an open market with several players in every country. This has been a gradual process with many political and economical considerations. The origin goes all the way back to 18th and early 19th optical telegraph networks and the mid 19th century electrical telegraph networks.

The course intends to provide an introductory overview of the development to understand the origins and complexity of the issues in the area of telecommunication policy and regulations, including the early international treaties involving cross border plants and the use of them, up to today’s debate over how basic infrastructure must be shared, spectrum allocated and general competition issues being an ever increasing mechanism to govern the market. Besides sector specific regulation principles, the course will also cover the general principles in competition law that increasingly will be applied and predicted to dominate the regulatory discussion in a not so distant future.

The course will include seminars with people involved in the Swedish liberalisation process of the last decade, illustrating the ambiguity that business leaders and policy makers live with in times of change.

Course offering missing for current semester as well as for previous and coming semesters
Headings with content from the Course syllabus IK2214 (Autumn 2007–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

No information inserted

Intended learning outcomes

After the course, the participants are expected to be able to describe

  • The general origin of the historical international situation, bilateral treaties growing into multilateral exchange of traffic. ITU origin and early development.
  • The early national situation in a number of major countries. Understanding their various models in the light of differences in general administration and political conditions. Public vs. private monopolies.
  • Different early control mechanisms, concessions and expansion requirements. Universal service requirements as a requirement for private monopolies.
  • Political shelters, demands and restrictions on operators in the monopoly era up to two decades ago.
  • Impact of general political change towards liberalisation of the sector, combined with the technology change after the semiconductor and optical fibre revolution.
  • Bodies driving the change. Differences between the European and North American processes.
  • Early adoption and countermeasures from incumbent operators as they were made subject to limited competition and interconnect.
  • Models for forced access to facilities of the dominant operator. Local loop unbundling, LLUB, pricing principles like long range incremental cost, LRIC, etc. The essential facilities doctrine.
  • Impact of new, disruptive services enabled by new technology. Mobile phones and the Internet emerging outside the defined scope of the narrow sector regulation applied to the vertically integrated telcos.
  • The gradual shift towards general, technology independent regulation. From hard, sector specific detailed regulation to soft law with a focus on general competition aspects. The problems inherent in the time lag in policy making and regulation implementation. Pros and cons with different approaches.
  • Policymakers at a disadvantage in a rapidly changing market driven by fast technology development. Laws as reflections of the established, not the new.

Course disposition

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Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

No information inserted

Recommended prerequisites

B-level courses in Data communication, Computer Networks and Internetworking and one of the following areas
Computer Systems (computer architecture and operating systems)
Programming, software engineering
Economy in networking industries
Competition regulation and related legal principles


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Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

A, B, C, D, E, FX, F


  • PRO1 - Project, 4.5 credits, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F
  • PRO2 - Project, 1.5 credits, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F
  • PRO3 - Project, 1.5 credits, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

Other requirements for final grade

The examination of this course is based on the quality of project specific deliverables and individual contributions.
The deliverables from each project team include a team-based project presented as a written report and an oral presentation; an opposition on another team’s project; hosting of a seminar, including preparation and summary of the seminar.
The students will be graded based on two dimensions:
The quality of the project related deliverables described above
Individual contribution to the learning in the course, i.e., active participation during seminars and on the course-web
Keeping deadlines is considered as important in this course! If the deliverables for any reason would be posted late, the grade will be affected.
The grading process will involve the teachers and the teaching assistants.
Individual Contribution (1 p)
Team Project (3 p)
Presentation of the Project and opposition on another team’s project (1 p)

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

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Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

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Profile picture Peter Sjödin

Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course web

Further information about the course can be found on the Course web at the link below. Information on the Course web will later be moved to this site.

Course web IK2214

Offered by

EECS/Computer Science

Main field of study

This course does not belong to any Main field of study.

Education cycle

Second cycle

Add-on studies

No information inserted


Anders Comstedt (