Minister moves to clear up 3G confusion

4 Apr 2003

The Swedish IT minister Ulrica Messing has moved to quash confusion surrounding the rollout deadline for 3G services in the country, arising from the drafting of a new telecoms law sent to parliament on 27 March. The new law, which covers all electronic communications, states that operators will be given ‘reasonable time’ to complete the build-out of their 3G networks. The director of the Swedish Post and Telecommunications Authority (PTS), Nils-Gunnar Billinger, has been quoted in the local press as saying that this would effectively give operators until mid-2005 to complete 3G infrastructure, as opposed to the end-2003 date originally set when the concessions were awarded. His words have provided much-needed relief for the country’s cellcos, all of which have previously had their applications for a two or three-year extension to the deadline rejected by the PTS. However, Messing yesterday announced that the contents of the new law have been widely misinterpreted and that the deadline issue will be made clear when the law is debated in parliament. The new legislation is intended to bring Sweden in line with European Union regulations and is expected to take effect from July.

Sweden,

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