Sweden awards five 4G mobile licences

Five bidders have paid €226 million ($346 million) for fourth generation (4G), super-fast mobile telephony licences, the Swedish Post and Telecom Agency (PTS) said on Thursday.

The five were Swedish-Finnish group TeliaSonera, Norway’s Telenor, Sweden’s Tele2, Intel Capital Corporation and HI3G Access (Hutchison Whampoa Investor), PTS said.

According to Telenor, Sweden and Norway are the first two countries in Europe to assign 4G licences in the 2.6 GHz band.

The licences last for 15 years.

“The use of mobile broadband services has increased dramatically during the last few years. By making the frequencies in the 2.6 GHz band available to market players, PTS provides opportunities for end-users to gain access to high capacity mobile communications services,” Marianne Treschow, the director general of PTS, said in a statement.

In a separate statement, TeliaSonera, seen as a possible acquisition target by France Telecom, said it would “be able to build a next generation super-fast mobile broadband network, offering access speeds of more than 100 Mbps.

“The frequencies now received will enable TeliaSonera to build a mobile network that is more than 10 times faster than today’s networks,” the group said.

“This is the most important spectrum auction since the 3G frequencies were distributed,” Telenor Sweden’s chief executive Johan Lindgren said.

“With this spectrum we will be able to provide high-quality mobile broadband,” he added.