Tre Sweden confirms plans to contest 700MHz auction result

12 Dec 2018

Hi3G Access, which offers mobile services in Sweden under the Tre (3) brand of majority owner CK Hutchison, says it will appeal the outcome of the recent 700MHz spectrum auction. As reported by CommsUpdate yesterday, frequencies were won by the three largest operators in Sweden’s four-player mobile market. Telia agreed to pay SEK1.38 billion (USD152 million) for 2×10MHz blocks of spectrum, with its concession including a minimum coverage requirement. Net4Mobility, the infrastructure joint venture (JV) of Tele2 and Telenor, offered SEK1.44 billion for two lots of 2×5MHz with no coverage obligations.

Tre Sweden participated in the bidding but emerged without spectrum. It says, as the market’s smallest operator, it was at a disadvantage to its three larger rivals. It adds that the auction was badly planned, with 20MHz of spectrum – four unpaired 5MHz blocks reserved for supplemental downlink (SDL) – remaining unsold.

Johan Johansson, CEO of Tre Sweden, commented: ‘We have previously stated that PTS [the Swedish Post and Telecom Agency (Post & Telestyrelsen)] made a poor analysis of the effects on the competitive situation in the Swedish telecom market. We therefore intend to push the matter further and [have] it legally tested.’