Sweden’s 5G auction raises $275 mn

Publish January 21, 2021
technology

An auction held for new licences for frequencies in Sweden’s 5G networks raised about 2.3 billion kronor (275 million dollars), the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS) said on Tuesday.
The auction that opened earlier on Tuesday comprised four rounds. The treasury would collect the funds, the regulator added.
Three bidders were awarded licences in the 3.5 GHz band, and one bidder won the auction for the entire 2.3 GHz band.
“As these frequencies have now been awarded, there are conditions for strengthening the capacity for mobile broadband services and for the development of the Internet of Things in Sweden,” said Dan Sjoblom, director general of the PTS.
The internet of things refers to how information can be sent to and received from devices, including kitchen appliances.
The regulator said it would in the coming days make a final decision on the award of the licences.
The process was initially due to start in November but was delayed after the PTS blocked two Chinese tech firms - Huawei and ZTE - from supplying equipment for the new infrastructure, triggering complaints from Huawei, which are pending.
The PTS cited concerns raised by the Swedish Armed Forces and the Swedish Security Service over the Chinese firms’ close links to China’s military as grounds for their exclusion. Britain made a similar decision.
Four firms - Hi3G Access, Net4Mobility, Telia Sweden and Teracom, a partnership between Swedish telecommunications firm Tele 2 and Norway’s Telenor - were permitted to participate in the bidding.
Fifteen licences were available in the auction in the 3.5 GHz band and were awarded to Hi3G Access, Net4Mobility, and Telia Sweden.
Terracom was the sole winner of the auction for the 2.3 GHz band comprising eight licences, the PTS said.
Courts said the auction could go ahead despite Huwaei’s pending complaint, according to Anders Ygeman, minister for energy and digital development.
“National security is more important than a reduction in competition,” Ygeman told daily Dagens Nyheter.

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