New Swedish Licences in the 900MHz range

(17 Mar 2009, BWCS Staff)

The Swedish telecoms regulator, the PTS, has approved new applications for the use of frequencies in the 900MHz range. The five domestic mobile operators Tele2, 3, Swefour, Telenor and TeliaSonera will now be able to bring in new mobile broadband services in that band, while at the same time continuing to offer GSM mobile telephone services. The PTS has also granted a new GSM licence to 3.The existing GSM licences in this range are due to expire at the end of 2010.

In the UK, T-Mobile and O2 are arguing that the 900MHz band should be re-distributedThe two operators are currently trying to block moves by the regulator Ofcom to auction spectrum in the 2.6GHz range. They want that decision held until conclusions have been reached on what's to happen to the second generation bands, the 900MHz blocks of spectrum used by O2 and Vodafone, and the 1800MHz range used by Orange and T-Mobile. The two operators argue that these bands should be reallocated to allow more efficient use of the spectrum.

In May last year Sweden followed the example set by close-neighbour Norway and auctioned off a series of technology neutral blocks of wireless spectrum. The PTS sold off spectrum in the 2.6GHz band. In total the sale raised SKr2.1 billion (at the time worth euros 225.4 million) for the government. In the end, five companies were successful after a bidding battle that lasted 16 days.

The total block of 190MHz of spectrum was awarded on a technology neutral basis and the licences will last for 15 years. Mobile operator 3 won two 10MHz chunks of spectrum and agreed to pay SKr 296.6 million (euros 31.9 million), while Intel bought 50MHz TDD for SKr159.25 million (euros 17.1 million). Tele2 bought two 20MHz blocks for SKr548.1 million (euros 58.8 million), Norwegian rival Telenor purchased two 20MHz blocks for SKr533 million (euros 57.2 million) and TeliaSonera won a couple of 20MHz sections for SKr562.45 million (euros 60.4 million).


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