Want Swedish Spectrum?

12:30 PM -- The Swedes are on the right track with their 2.6 GHz wireless broadband auction set for early next year. The regulator National Post and Telecom Agency (PTS) has engineered a really flexible auction that allows for changes in future wireless technologies. (See PTS Plans Spectrum Auction.)

Here's how it will work:

The regulator has set aside a total of 70 MHz (14 blocks with 5 MHz each) for frequency division duplex (FDD)-based technologies (i.e., UMTS and WCDMA) and one block of 50 MHz for time division duplex (TDD)-based technologies (i.e., WiMax).

And this is the interesting part: If an operator buys the TDD spectrum, it can request to have it changed to FDD. And vice versa. That means operators won't be locked into technology choices. Operators will also be allowed to trade spectrum.

So, even though both the WCDMA and WiMax camps will be equally eager (to say the least) to get their hands on this spectrum in Sweden and several other European countries next year, the Swedes have allowed for a lot of flexibility in terms of their 3G and 4G technology choices.

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung

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