Swedish 5G auction to resume as court backs Huawei ban

Swedish 5G auction to resume as court backs Huawei ban

Huawei MWC 2019.jpg

Sweden’s 5G auction is due to start tomorrow after Huawei lost an appeal over the ruling that its equipment should be excluded.

The decision means that an earlier ruling by an appeal court still applies: the regulator, Post- och telestyrelsen (PTS), said that no company with Huawei kit in its system can bid for 5G licences.

Last week Kenneth Fredriksen, Huawei’s executive vice president for Central East Europe and the Nordic region, told Capacity that the Chinese company was willing to fund security vetting of the equipment and software it was proposing to supply to the industry.

The PTS’s ruling was supported by the Administrative Court of Appeal, which said it coule resume 5G spectrum auctions without removing an earlier ban on Huawei.

The vendor and a number of operators took the decision to the Supreme Administrative Court, which has ruled that the earlier ruling “is final and therefore cannot be appealed. The appeal should thus be dismissed.”

A Huawei official told the Reuters news agency: “Huawei’s hope was that the court would take a broader approach to the issue of law and consider the appeal on other grounds, something we put forward in our appeal.”

Meanwhile fixed-broadband operators added to the confusion by pointing out how many of their networks rely on equipment from Huawei and its Chinese rival, ZTE.

The Swedish Urban Network Association (Svenska Stadsnätsföreningens Servicebolag) said that the two companies have a 22% share of the access and core network equipment in city broadband networks.

Mikael Ek, CEO of the association, said this was “relatively small”, but added: “I still want to be clear that the authorities should strive for better foresight in any further decisions to minimise the consequences for the city networks and other industry players.”

Mobile operators in Sweden that already have Huawei equipment have until 1 January 2025 to remove it.

In the UK the ban on Huawei does not extend to fixed fibre networks, partly, it is thought, because of a lack of alternative suppliers.