Swedish telecom operators are planning to cover almost the entire country with 5G in the next two to three years after the spectrum auction was conducted by the telecom regulator PTS.
The auction, which was delayed twice – once for security review and the second time over a lawsuit filed by Huawei – started on Tuesday and concluded the same day.
PTS had estimated between two and 10 days for the completion of the auction between four bidders.
According to a PTS spokesman, “there were a lot of frequencies available and the auction was designed so that three bidders could receive a reasonable amount of frequencies in the 3.5 GHz band, and a fourth bidder could gain access to the entire 2.3 GHz band without new bidding.”
The bidders were units or joint ventures of telecom operators such as Telia, Tele2, Telenor and Tre.
“We are just really happy that the auction happened now, it is critical for our continued 5G rollout and to strengthen Sweden as a digital nation in the years to come,” said Staffan Åkesson, CTO Telia Sweden.
While Telia won 120 MHz, Tre and Tele2-Telenor won 100 MHz each. State-owned Teracom won 80 MHz in the 2.3 GHz band.
Total proceeds amounted to 2.3 billion Swedish crowns ($274.70 million).
“We are quite satisfied with the auction, we managed to secure the spectrum we needed at a reasonable price,” said Tre spokesman Haval van Drumpt. “By the end of 2023 we expect the majority of our customers to have highspeed 5G.”
Tre, which signed contracts with Huawei for building its network in Sweden, had filed a lawsuit against the banning of the Chinese firm. The case, along with an appeal by Huawei, is still pending.
Huawei had opposed the auction saying that it would be difficult to redo the auction if the court subsequently concludes that the auction terms were unlawful.
A Tele2 spokesman said the company aims to cover over 99% of the Swedish population within three years.