Sweden’s telecoms regulator, the PTS, has issued an invitation to market participants to comment on the auction rules and conditions for the upcoming sale of mobile broadband licences in the 700MHz band scheduled for late-2016. The watchdog has identified gaps in national coverage for voice and/or data (10Mbps) and has published map data to illustrate this; one 700MHz (2×10MHz) licence will carry coverage obligations to serve these specific areas. Bidders for this licence must pledge investment of at least SEK200 million (USD24.6 million), whilst maximum necessary investment is estimated at SEK300 million; in the event of a winning bid/pledge exceeding SEK300 million the excess amount will be taken as auction proceeds for the state treasury. Minimum bids for the other four 700MHz (2×5MHz each) spectrum blocks are set at SEK100 million, whilst a 2×20MHz spectrum cap is proposed to ensure there will be at least two licensees in the band. Market participants have until 27 May to respond.
The 700MHz band is currently used for terrestrial television, but the Swedish government has decided that the band should be available for other uses (including mobile broadband) from 1 April 2017.