The information and communications technology (ICT) industry has become Norway’s new flagship. It is now Norway’s second-largest land-based industry by turnover, and not only creates wealth, but is also a vital supplier to other businesses and the public sector. The industry encompasses a wide variety of high-tech companies that create new telecommunications, hardware, software, and industrial electronics products, and provide consultancy services.
Norway is one of the world’s top per-capita users of ICT, with an infrastructure that includes a well-developed system of land-earth stations and fibre optic cable networks for digital transmission. The Norwegian communications network is being rapidly expanded, and the telecommunications sector has generated a growing number of internationally competitive companies, as well as a sizeable research community. The range of available products includes satellite communications systems, global positioning systems, mobile phone systems, network management systems, transmission systems, and fibre optic technologies.
Norwegian hardware producers are innovative, and have devised a long list of specialised products, such as videoconferencing systems, multimedia equipment, digital radio transmitters, tape-based data storage solutions, credit card terminals, and power supply units.
Norway’s software revolution was fuelled by developments in its traditional industries, like oil, shipping and fisheries. The needs of these sectors, and their ability to create and pay for technically advanced, cost-saving solutions, have spurred the development of new software and integrated systems. There are now many companies in the ICT industry that supply modular and software solutions (including data, customer relations, administrative, and financial management systems), to virtually all private and public sectors. Norwegian companies have also been pioneers in the fields of telemedicine and remote learning. Advanced public-sector solutions are starting to find international buyers.
Use of the Internet is widespread in Norway, and is increasing at a rapid pace. Norwegian companies are at the forefront of Internet technologies, including the development of multifunctional web- and intranet sites, superfast web browsers, online games, and e-commerce solutions. The Norwegian ICT industry excels at finding user-friendly solutions that put the user and interaction between people first.