3 Sweden appeals terms of 700MHz auction

26 Jul 2018

Swedish mobile operator Tre Sverige (3 Sweden) is launching an appeal against the terms of a forthcoming auction of 700MHz wireless spectrum for future 5G services. The Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (Post & Telestyrelsen, PTS) invited applications for the sale earlier this month, but 3 says it could be locked out of the 5G market by its larger rivals Telia, Tele2 and Telenor. A total of 60MHz of spectrum will be offered at auction, but with a cap of 40MHz per operator it is possible that just two companies could emerge with frequencies.

3 says the auction terms violate PTS’ own practice, as well as several EU directives, and risk undermining competition in Sweden’s mobile market, leading to higher prices for end users.

The auction has been split into two lots of 2×5MHz and one lot of 2×10MHz, plus four 1×5MHz blocks for supplemental downlink (SDL). The reserve price has been set at SEK50 million (USD5.7 million) per 5MHz, meaning the sale will raise a minimum of SEK600 million. Applications can be made until 5 November, with the auction due to begin on 4 December.

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