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Telenor launches Sweden’s fourth 5G network

2.3GHz and 3.5GHz auction will begin on November 10

Telenor Sweden launched commercial 5G services in central Stockholm in October 2020, becoming the fourth 5G network in the country. The operator said its network will provide internet access at 1 Gbps to customers with a compatible handset and a Telenor 5G-ready 30 GB, 75 GB, or Unlimited subscription. 5G network coverage is available in at least half of the city centre. The operator intends to widen its footprint in the capital while also adding connectivity in Malmo and Gothenburg before expanding the rollout to towns with a population of over 50,000. Telenor also said that it expects its 5G network to cover 99% of Sweden’s population by 2023. Rival operators Telia, Tele2 and Tre launched 5G services in May and June this year.

Concerning the upcoming 5G spectrum auctions for 2.3GHz and 3.5GHz frequencies, four applicants have been approved to participate in the process. Hi3G Access (Tre), Net4Mobility (Tele2 and Telenor), Telia Sweden and Teracom (Net1) are cleared to bid in the auction which begins on November 10.

The Post and Telecom Agency (Post & Telestyrelsen, PTS) plans to award up to 15 national licenses for 80 MHz in the 2.3 GHz band and 320 MHz at 3400 – 3720 MHz. Each 10 MHz block in the 2.3 GHz band would have a minimum price of 20 million SEK (1.9 million EUR), and each 20 MHz block at 3.5 GHz would be sold for at least 100 million SEK (9.5 million EUR). It also proposes to make the 3720 – 3800 MHz band available on a local/private basis.

Regarding equipment vendors, PTS demands that equipment from Chinese vendors Huawei and ZTE must not be used in the construction of 5G networks due to national security concerns. 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 1 January 2025 at the latest.

Recently in late October, Finnish vendor Nokia announced its selection by Sweden’s Telia Company as the exclusive provider of 5G RAN in Finland in a five-year deal which will cover 7,500 sites. Nokia has also revealed that it has been selected as the supplier of 5G standalone core by Telia Company for several of its subsidiaries, namely those in the following countries: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden.

Telia Company has also contracted Ericsson to deploy 5G equipment in Sweden and Estonia. Ericsson will modernise Telia’s existing 4G networks in the two countries to establish ultra-high capacity 5G systems incorporating around 10,000 cellular sites and covering 500,000 square km.

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