article / 20 Apr 2020

The Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS) issues an invitation to auction of 5G frequencies

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On the 17th of April 2020, the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS) issued an invitation to the internet auction of allocation of frequencies in the 3.5 GHz and 2.3 GHz bands. Both frequency bands are suitable for high capacity mobile broadband networks and the 3.5 GHz band (which includes 3.4-3.8 GHz) is also designated in the EU as a pioneer band for the expansion of 5G. The frequency bands have short range and are not suitable for expanding services with large geographical coverage.

The planned start date for the auction is November 10 2020. Anyone wishing to participate in the auction must have submitted an application to PTS no later than June 30, 2020.

The 3.5 GHz band comprises 320 MHz (maximum 15 national licences), while the 2.3 GHz band comprises 80 MHz (maximum 8 national licences). The minimum bid in the auction is SEK 1.5 billion for the 3.5 GHz band (SEK 100 million per licence of 20 MHz) and SEK 160 million (SEK 20 million per licence of 10 MHz) for the 2.3 GHz band. If the 2.3 GHz band is awarded without competition, the lowest bid for this band is SEK 400 million.

PTS has enabled three actors to acquire at least 80 MHz in the 3.5 GHz auction. If more than three bidders are interested in frequencies in the 3.5 GHz band, there is a possibility for one or more bidders, who has failed to win any spectrum in that band, to place bids of 80 MHz in a limited competition in the 2.3 GHz band.

The expansion of 5G forms an important part of the digitalisation and thus emphasize the importance of high security. Therefore, the licencee must take the technical and organizational measures required under the licence to ensure that radio usage does not cause harm to Sweden’s security. In consultation with the Swedish Security Service and the Swedish Armed Forces, PTS will conduct a preliminary examination of each applicant.

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