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IN : 5G auctions 5G spectrum

Sweden completes 3.5 GHz spectrum auction for 5G in one day

The auction raised 2.32 billion SEK (226 million EUR)

The Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS) announced the completion of a 5G spectrum auction through which it awarded frequencies in the 3.5 GHz and the 2.3 GHz bands to the country’s operators. The sale, which was delayed twice, once for security review and the second time over a lawsuit filed by Huawei, raised 2.32 billion SEK (226 million EUR), slightly above the 1.66 billion SEK (155 million EUR) reserve price.

In a statement, PTS noted all 320 MHz at 3.5 GHz was assigned. Full allocations are as follows:

  • Telia secured 120 MHz (3500-3620 MHz) for 760.25 million SEK (75 million EUR).
  • Net4Mobility (a joint initiative by Tele2 and Telenor’s local units) won 100 MHz (3620-3720 MHz) for 665.5 million SEK (65 million EUR).
  • Hi3G got 100 MHz (3400-3500 MHz) at 491.25 million SEK (48 million EUR).
  • Teracom Group which took over Net1 in 2019, took all 80 MHz on offer in the 2.3 GHz band for a total of 400 million SEK (40 million EUR).

3.5 GHz spectrum was bought at 2.2 cEUR/MHz/PoP for 10 years, significantly lower than in Italy, the UK, or France, and at almost the same price as Finland.

The four 3.5 GHz licences will be valid for a period of 25 years (from January 20, 2021, to December 31, 2045).

Regarding 5G vendors, PTS demands that equipment from Chinese Huawei and ZTE must not be used in the construction of 5G networks due to national security concerns. The regulator stated that if existing infrastructure for central functions is to be used to provide services in the concerned frequency bands, products from Huawei and ZTE must be phased out on 1 January 2025 at the latest.

In 2020, Finnish vendor Nokia announced its selection by Telia Company to deploy its nationwide 5G RAN and SA core. Telia Company also contracted Ericsson to deploy 5G equipment in Sweden and Estonia. Net4Mobility partners Tele2 and Telenor selected Ericsson and Nokia to deploy their nationwide 5G RAN. Tele2 had previously named Nokia as its core network vendor for Sweden and the Baltics.

Four players out of five mobile providers provide 5G commercial services to date. Telenor Sweden launched commercial 5G services in October 2020 in central Stockholm. Rival operators Telia, Tele2 and Tre respectively launched 5G services in May and June 2020.

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