Sweden’s telecoms industry regulator, the Post and Telecoms Authority (PTS), has halted the sale of Orange Sverige’s 3G licence to Svenska UMTS-nat, a 50/50 joint venture between TeliaSonera and Tele2, over fears it may hurt competition in the local cellular market. Svenska UMTS-nat agreed to buy the licence at the start of the year, following which Orange applied to the PTS for permission to reassign the licence. Svenska UMTS-nat, an original 3G licence winner, said it would use the new spectrum to expand its network coverage in a number of metropolitan areas. However, the PTS has now said that as TeliaSonera and Tele2 control more than 80% of revenues in the country’s mobile market, giving the two additional spectrum via the licence could hurt competition. The regulator now plans to consult on its ruling and will make a final decision within the next month.
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