Sweden concludes 3.5 GHz and 2.3 GHz band auction

Sweden Map NEW.jpeg

Sweden has concluded its 5G auction raising SEK 2,317,000,006 (US$276.8 million) and awarding spectrum to all four bidders.

The one-day auction covered both the 3.5GHz and 2.3GHz bands and took place over four rounds. Three bidders won licences in the 3.5 GHz band, with one bidder taking the entire 2.3 GHz band (see table).

PTS said conditions now exist for "a broad 5G expansion in Sweden".

Dan Sjöblom, director-general at the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority, said in a release: "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. The award will be central to the Swedish 5G development."

The statement confirmed that PTS would "make all final decisions on award of licences", within the coming days.


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



The auction was originally scheduled for November but was postponed after Huawei lodged a court appeal against its exclusion from the country's 5G networks. Equipment manufactured by Huawei, along with that of ZTE, was banned from the country's 5G networks in October after threat assessments were conducted by the Swedish Armed Forces, Swedish Security Service as well as national regulator the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS).

On 1 March 2020, the country implemented "anti-sabotage" regulations to protect national networks. Under these measures, Swedish operators must conduct a full risk assessment before procuring any new products or services, including an analysis of the threat of network sabotage.

Despite the activity of regulators Huawei – which is the world's largest telecom equipment provider and second largest smartphone maker –has won the support of Ericsson CEO Börje Ekholm, who has vocally opposed its bans in the country since their introduction last year.

The month of Huawei's Sweden ban, Ericsson reported in its financial results that 5G contracts in mainland China were the driving force for its 7% year-on-year increase in sales.

Over in Brazil, it was reported last week that Huawei would not be barred from the country's 5G networks following concerns that President Jair Bolsonaro would take the advice of Donald Trump.

Reuters said he had faced "increased political pressure" to drop any ban after Donald Trump lost the US election.

China has been Brazil's primary trading partner since 2009, according to OEC data.

To mitigate the impact of its equipment bans it was reported last week that Huawei has taken stakes in "20 semiconductor-related companies" over the last 18 months.

Meanwhile in Saudi Arabia, things are going better a little better for Huawei. Last week the government said the company would open a flagship consumer store in Riyadh to support ongoing digitalisation and high consumer demand for electronics.