Operators prepare to give Sweden full 5G coverage

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Spectrum sales shows interest in covering the whole country with 5G service.

On January 19, Swedish telecom regulator PTS announced that it had completed its 5G spectrum auction. Reuters reported that four bidders dominated the auction, which raised SEK 2.3 billion (EUR 227 million).

The bidders were units or joint ventures of telecom operators Telia, Tele2, Telenor and Tre (3 Sweden). These operators are planning to cover almost the entire country with 5G in the next two to three years.

Telia won the 120 MHz band. The Net4Mobility venture by Tele2 and Telenor won the 100 MHz. Tre (3 Sweden) also won the 100 MHz band. Teracom won the 80 MHz range.

“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,” Staffan Åkesson, CTO Telia Sweden, said.

Tele2 and Telenor Sweden said that in connection with the auction, they have finalised their vendor procurement. They have chosen Ericsson and Nokia as partners for the joint nationwide 5G radio access network.

Auction delayed by court case with Huawei

A court battle with China’s Huawei had delayed the spectrum auction. This was because PTS had banned the Chinese company from its next-generation networks. For this reason, Huawei had opposed the sale. They claimed that it would be difficult to redo the auction if they won their court case.

“China will take all necessary measures to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies,” a spokesman for China’s commerce ministry said on Thursday.

Auction foretells a massive investment in 5G infrastructure

Telia said that it has now acquired more spectrum than any other operator in Sweden. This, it says, demonstrates Telia’s commitment to extending its 5G network leadership position in the country.

Tele2 CTIO Yogesh Malik said that they will invest billions in its largest network project in Sweden to date. The project will upgrade existing base stations and adding thousands of new ones nationwide.

A Tele2 spokesman said the company aims to cover over 99% of the Swedish population within three years.