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Sweden operators get ready for mass 5G cover after spectrum auctions

Wed 20th January, 2021 12:39pm
By Supantha Mukherjee and Helena Soderpalm
    STOCKHOLM, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Swedish telecom operators are
planning to cover almost the entire country with 5G in the next
two to three years after the spectrum auction was conducted by
the telecom regulator PTS.
    The auction, which was delayed twice - once for security
review and the second time over a lawsuit filed by
Huawei HWT.UL  - started on Tuesday and concluded the same day.
    PTS had estimated between two and 10 days for the completion
of the auction between four bidders.
    "There were a lot of frequencies available and the auction
was designed so that three bidders could receive a reasonable
amount of frequencies in the 3.5 GHz band, and a fourth bidder
could gain access to the entire 2.3 GHz band without new
bidding," a PTS spokesman said.
    The bidders were units or joint ventures of telecom
operators such as Telia  TELIA.ST , Tele2  TEL2b.ST , Telenor
 TEL.OL  and Tre.
    "We are just really happy that the auction happened now, it
is critical for our continued 5G rollout and to strengthen
Sweden as a digital nation in the years to come," said Staffan
Åkesson, CTO Telia Sweden.
    While Telia won 120 MHz, Tre and Tele2-Telenor won 100 MHz
each. State-owned Teracom won 80 MHz in the 2.3 GHz band.
    Total proceeds amounted to 2.3 billion Swedish crowns 
($274.70 million).
    "We are quite satisfied with the auction, we managed to
secure the spectrum we needed at a reasonable price," said Tre
spokesman Haval van Drumpt. "By the end of 2023 we expect the
majority of our customers to have highspeed 5G."
    Tre, which signed contracts with Huawei for building its
network in Sweden, had filed a lawsuit against the banning of
the Chinese firm. The case, along with an appeal by Huawei, is
still pending.*:nL8N2JQ1MB
    Huawei had opposed the auction saying that it would be
difficult to redo the auction if the court subsequently
concludes that the auction terms were unlawful.
    A Tele2 spokesman said the company aims to cover over 99% of
the Swedish population within three years. 

 (Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee and Helena Soderpalm; Editing
by Chizu Nomiyama)
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