Swedish 5G auction to start on January 19

The Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS) confirmed that its planned 5G spectrum auction will finally take place on January 19.

The regulator won an appeal against an injunction granted by Stockholm Administrative Court to Huawei, after the Chinese vendor had made objections to the auction conditions prohibiting it from supplying 5G equipment.

Huawei had appealed PTS’s decision, arguing that its exclusion would not benefit customers or the country in general.

PTS said that the appeals court has ruled that the conditions remain valid, pending full consideration by the administrative court.

Last month, the regulator decided to put on hold the 5G spectrum auction—which had been scheduled to begin on November 10—after a court in Stockholm issued a ruling suspending parts of its decision that had excluded Huawei from 5G networks.

In October, the Swedish regulator said that four mobile operators have been approved to take part in an upcoming 5G spectrum auction. Hi3G Access, Net4Mobility, Telia Sverige and Teracom had been approved for participation in the 3.5 GHz and 2.3 GHz auctions.

The regulator also introduced a number of regulations to strengthen the security of future 5G networks in the Nordic country, which resulted in a ban for Chinese vendors Huawei and ZTE.

“PTS’s focus is that available frequencies should be allocated to the market as soon as possible, this applies to this as well as to future allocations. In this way, conditions are created for competition, growth and an expansion that benefits Swedish users,” the regulator said in a statement.

“The frequency allocation in the 3.5 GHz and 2.3 GHz bands is crucial for 5G development in Sweden and affects the digitalisation of society. Therefore, PTS holds the auction despite the fact that the conditions must be tried legally. Protecting Sweden’s security is an essential public interest. PTS therefore considers that the conditions specified by the Security Police and the Armed Forces should apply to the permits granted,” the regulator added.

The regulator had previously said that an examination of applications for the 5G auction had been conducted in consultation with the Swedish Armed Forces and the Swedish Security Service, to ensure that the use of radio equipment in these bands does not cause harm to Sweden´s security.

PTS said that license holder shall take necessary technical and organizational actions to safeguard that the radio use according to the license does not cause harm to Sweden’s security.

PTS highlighted that new installations and new implementation of central functions for the radio use in the frequency bands must not be carried out with products from Chinese vendors Huawei or ZTE. “If existing infrastructure for central functions is to be used to provide services in the concerned frequency bands, products from Huawei and ZTE must be phased out on January 1 2025 at the latest,” PTS said.

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