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No penalty for delayed 3G network in Sweden

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18:15 CEST+02:00
By the end of 2003, 98% of Sweden's population was to have access to the 3G mobile network.

By January 2005, the three operators with 3G licences, Hi3G (the company behind 3), Tele2/Telia and Vodafone, had only managed to deliver the new service to 85% of the public - and only 35% of the country as a whole.

But on Monday the Post and Telecommunications Board (PTS) decided not to punish the licence-holders with fines, announcing instead that it would give them the opportunity to come up with alternative methods - as long as customers do not suffer.

In a press release, PTS said it would "continue to investigate issues concerning consumers, competition, technology and the environment".

The board also agreed to consider Hi3G's application for less harsh conditions for further development of the network. The company wants to be allowed to co-operate with Nordisk Mobiltelfoni rather than building its own network.

"This is precisely the opening we were hoping for, to bring about a constructive dialogue," said 3's managing director, Shlomo Liran, to news agency TT.

"It makes sense to find the best solution for us operators and for consumers," he added.

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