Mobile operator 3 Sweden is taking the Swedish Post and Telecoms Agency, PTS, to court, accusing the regulator of poor regard for competition considerations when it came to last December’s auction of the 700 MHz band for 5G.
Telia as well as the Net4Mobility joint venture of Telenor and Tele2 paid SEK 2.8 billion to acquire blocks, while 3 did not acquire any. 3 claims the auction was designed to benefit companies with the “strongest financial muscle”, thereby distorting competition and breaching a number of EU directives.
PTS has said it has the support of the European Commission, is working towards the government’s broadband goals and that a block in the 700 MHz band is not necessary in order to offer 5G services.
Australia’s government recently issued guidelines to protect its 5G network from “unauthorised access or interference”. Effectively, this blocked Chinese telecommunications equipment providers Huawei and ZTE from participating in the rollout of 5G networks in Australia.
Sweden’s Post and Telecom Authority, PTS, which is planning to auction licences for 5G services in the 694-790 MHz frequency band, now says it cannot make such demands. “What PTS can do is to make demands of certain protection mechanisms to be used in certain activities, such as encryption. But it is the users who have to take responsibility, those who buy the services of the operators. They must take responsibility for the fact that, if they have any special protection needs, they must make these demands of the operators,” says PTS’s Karolina Boström.
The Swedish government has launched an inquiry into 5G, one aspect of which is security. The inquiry’s findings will be presented on 31 October, with the auction starting on 4 December
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