The Swedish Post and Telecom Agency (Post & Telestyrelsen, PTS) says it is pushing ahead with its planned auction of 700MHz spectrum despite a legal challenge from one of the country’s cellcos. The PTS invited applications for the spectrum sale on 4 July this year, but later that month Hi3G (Tre) began an appeal to have the terms altered, saying it could be locked out of the 5G market by its larger rivals Telia, Tele2 and Telenor. A total of 60MHz of spectrum will be offered at auction, but with a cap of 40MHz per operator it is possible that just two companies could emerge with the frequencies. The spectrum also comes with a minimum coverage requirement, which the PTS says will guarantee mobile broadband coverage for 100% of the population by 2023.
The regulator has now clarified that Tre’s appeal will not derail the auction, which is still scheduled to begin on 4 December, as originally planned. The auction has been split into two lots of 2×5MHz and one lot of 2×10MHz, plus four 1×5MHz blocks for supplemental downlink (SDL). The reserve price has been set at SEK50 million (USD5.7 million) per 5MHz, meaning the sale will raise a minimum of SEK600 million. The 700MHz band has been earmarked for future 5G mobile services.