PTS rejects low-cost 3G rollout plan

24 Oct 2005

The Swedish telecoms regulator, Posts and TeleStyrelsen (PTS), has rejected 3G wireless licensee requests to complete the build out of their networks using cheaper alternative technologies, and has threatened the operators with fines if they fail to comply with their obligations to provide coverage of 99.98% of the population. Hi3G and Vodafone had both applied to use 450MHz technologies in some of Sweden’s more remote areas rather than the more costly W-CDMA platform, but the PTS said in a statement that it did not consider it possible to cross W-CDMA with other technologies without a deterioration of service for consumers. The regulator added that it was keen to encourage operators to cut costs by sharing antenna sites, although it admitted that thus far operators had been unwilling to embrace this way forward and that it had little power to enforce such arrangements. Indeed, in a separate announcement TeliaSonera Sweden president Marie Ehrling confirmed that it had no plan to extend its 3G network build co-operation agreement with Tele2 to either Hi3G or Vodafone.