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Sweden’s 700MHz auction raises USD312 million

11 Dec 2018

The Swedish Post and Telecom Agency (Post & Telestyrelsen, PTS) has announced that Telia and Net4Mobility have won frequencies in its sale of 700MHz spectrum. The auction raised a total of SEK2.82 billion (USD311.9 million). Telia agreed to pay SEK1.38 billion for 2×10MHz blocks of spectrum, with its concession including a minimum coverage requirement. Net4Mobility, the infrastructure joint venture (JV) of Swedish cellcos Tele2 and Telenor, offered SEK1.44 billion for two lots of 2×5MHz with no coverage obligations. The licences are valid until December 2040 and will enable operators to consolidate their 4G networks while also preparing the way for future 5G services.

The smallest of the country’s mobile network operators (MNOs), Hi3G Access (Tre), participated in the auction but did not win spectrum. The operator, which is 60% owned by Hong Kong-based group CK Hutchison, had previously complained that the terms of the auction favoured its larger rivals.

The second stage of the auction will see the winning bidders go head-to-head to determine their final frequency allocations, while four 5MHz lots of unpaired supplemental downlink (SDL) spectrum will also be up for grabs.

Meanwhile, Telenor and Tele2 say they will begin rolling out their joint 5G network in the second half of next year, with plans to launch commercial services in 2020. The deployment will initially concentrate on Sweden’s main cities and tourist resorts. Telia is also looking at a 2020 launch date for 5G.

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