Swedish telecoms regulator, the Post & Telestyrelsen (PTS) yesterday launched an auction for mobile network operating licences in the 1800MHz radio frequency band. Concessions on offer are technology- and service-neutral, with the objective to enable new and existing operators to roll out wireless broadband services. Licences are valid from 1 January 2013 for 25 years.
In the first stage of the auction the 2×35MHz of available spectrum will be divided among bidders, including new entrants and existing licensees (which already hold 2×35MHz in the band between them). There is no limit to the amount of spectrum a bidder can buy.
The PTS announced that stage two of the process will determine the placement of the bidders’ spectrum in the band; the winning bidders from the first stage and existing licensees who already own 1800MHz bandwidth may participate. The placement stage therefore includes up to 2×70MHz. All licensees in the band are guaranteed to have contiguous spectrum allocations.
The PTS also says it plans to exempt 2×5MHz in the 1800MHz band from licence obligation in order to reduce barriers to entering the market. This means that these frequencies could be used ‘by anyone without requiring a licence’, according to the regulator’s statement.