Tre Sweden hits out at spectrum auction plans

3 Apr 2019

Swedish cellco Tre Sweden has once again criticised plans for the distribution of spectrum for future 5G mobile services. The firm, which competes with larger rivals Telia, Tele2 and Telenor, as well as LTE-only provider Net1, says emphasis must be given to promoting market competition rather than maximising revenues from the sale of frequencies. The operator is particularly critical of the high spectrum limits set by the Post and Telecom Agency (Post & Telestyrelsen, PTS), which it says enables larger cellcos to monopolise the spectrum while leaving little room for smaller players such as Tre.

Haval van Drumpt, CEO of Tre Sweden, has written in a blog post: ‘Several mobile operators, and also the Swedish Competition Authority, are either critical or doubtful as to whether the auction structure is really promoting competition. Weaker competition in the 5G market will lead to higher prices for Swedish mobile customers, poorer service development, and a negative impact on Swedish growth.’

In December 2018 Telia, Tele2 and Telenor emerged with spectrum from PTS’ auction of 700MHz frequencies, while Tre was left empty-handed. The smaller player had previously been critical of the auction format. The regulator opened a consultation into the award of 2.3GHz and 3.5GHz spectrum in February this year.