January 20, 2021
Sweden's much-delayed auction of 3.5GHz and 2.3GHz frequencies, once it got going, was over in a flash. Bidding started yesterday and was completed yesterday, raking in nearly 2.32 billion Swedish kroner ($277 million) for Sweden's Treasury.
Incumbent Telia spent the most, shelling out SEK760.3 million ($91 million) for a 120MHz chunk of 5G-friendly 3.5GHz frequencies (other bidders secured 100MHz each). All 3.5GHz license concessions are valid for 25 years. Teracom was the only bidding entity to secure 2.3GHz frequencies. The radio and TV broadcaster forked out SEK400 million ($47.8 million) for an 80MHz slice of spectrum in this band.
Bidder Licences in the 3.5GHz band Licences in the 2.3GHz band Auction proceeds (SEK) Hi3G Access 3400-3500MHz - 491,250,000 Net4Mobility 3620-3720MHz - 665,500,000 Telia Sverige 3500-3620MHz - 760,250,006 Teracom - 2300-2380MHz 400,000,000 Source: PTS.
Since Sweden's regulator PTS got its way in the end, winning bidders cannot use equipment from Huawei for new 5G installations. Mobile network operators have also got to remove Huawei kit by 2025.
Tele2 issued a statement after Net4Mobility, its joint venture with Telenor, snaffled 100MHz in the 3.5GHz frequency band. It pointed out that Net4Mobility had chosen Ericsson and Nokia as partners for rollout of their joint nationwide 5G RAN. When they combine that with the 700MHz frequencies won in a 2018 auction, Tele2 and Telenor reckon they're well placed to roll out a nationwide 5G network.
Net4Mobility has got a lot of swapping-out work to do, however. Up until now, the joint venture has relied exclusively on Huawei in the RAN.
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Light Reading. For its part, Telia Company says Nokia is its "sole supplier" of 5G standalone core network products in six of its markets, including Sweden, while Ericsson is a domestic supplier of 5G RAN. In an earlier announcement, the company said it does not expect a Huawei ban in Sweden to "materially change" its total capex expectations for the already planned rollout of 5G and network modernization. Hi3G Access, 60% owned by Hong Kong-based CK Hutchison and 40% by Swedish Investor, reportedly uses a mixture of Huawei and ZTE equipment in its RAN. Light Reading is unclear on the operator's vendor procurement strategy in future. — Ken Wieland, contributing editor, special to Light Reading
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