Telia gets the most spectrum in £200m Swedish 5G auction

Industry News

The contentious Swedish 5G auction proceeded as planned and the country’s dominant MNO Telia was the narrow winner.

It nearly didn’t happen, thanks to the decision to make the outcomes conditional on the winners going nowhere near any Chinese vendors for their 5G networks. Huawei reckoned this contravened EU law and lodged a few appeals, which were dismissed by Swedish courts. Huawei has indicated Sweden hasn’t heard the last of it but, pending its vengeance, the mid-band 5G auction is now a done deal. Here are the winners.

Bidder Licences in the
3.5 GHz band
Licences in the
2.3 GHz band
Auction proceeds (SEK)
Hi3G Access AB Winner of 100 MHz in the frequency range 3400–3500 MHz     491 250 000
Net4Mobility HB Winner of 100 MHz in the frequency range 3620-3720 MHz    665 500 000
Telia Sverige AB Winner of 120 MHz in the frequency range 3500-3620 MHz    760 250 006
Teracom AB   Winner of 80 MHz in the frequency range 2300-2380 MHz  400 000 000

Hi3G Access is Three Sweden, Net4Mobility is the joint venture between Telenor and Tele2 and Teracom is a state-owned broadcast thing. Apparently none of the MNOs wanted any 2.3 GHz spectrum so Teracom got to bid against itself. Since all the proceeds (SEK 2.317 billion, which is around 200 million quid) so back to the state anyway, you have to wonder why they bothered.

“As these frequencies have now been awarded, there are conditions for strengthening the capacity for mobile broadband services and for the development of the Internet of Things in Sweden,” said Dan Sjöblom,  Director-General of the Swedish telecoms regulator PTS. “The award will be central to the Swedish 5G development.”

Hi3G Access seems to have got a relative bargain and it’s good to be reminded that spectrum auctions don’t have to take weeks. Maybe that’s because the Swedish government prioritised moving things along over filling holes in its budget for once.

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