3 awaiting clearance to buy Intel’s Swedish LTE frequencies

16 Dec 2010

Mobile operator Hi3G Access Sweden (3) is awaiting regulatory clearance to buy frequencies in the 2600MHz band from Intel Corp to help it launch Long Term Evolution (LTE) services next year, chief executive of 3 Scandinavia, Peder Ramel, told Dow Jones Newswires yesterday. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database says that in May 2008 both 3 and Intel won 2600MHz spectrum in an auction run by Swedish regulator the Post & Telestyrelsen (PTS), valid for 15 years and not subject to any rollout obligations. 3 was awarded 2×10MHz for SEK296.6 million (USD43.6 million), and Intel acquired 50MHz of TDD frequencies for SEK159.3 million. 3’s mobile rivals TeliaSonera, Tele2 and Telenor all won allocations of 2×20MHz in the same auction, and all three have since launched commercial LTE services. 3, part of Hong Kong-based conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa, is aiming to launch 4G mobile broadband services in both Sweden and Denmark by the end of 2011 to keep pace with rivals, Mr Ramel said, whilst Intel’s Nordic spokeswoman Camilla Tornblom said the US-owned company has decided that it makes financial sense to sell its Swedish 4G frequencies to 3. Ramel added that 3 expects the PTS to reach a decision on whether to approve the proposed deal over the next few days. PTS spokesperson Jan Bostrom confirmed that the watchdog was studying the proposal, but could not predict when it will give a verdict.

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