Sweden’s telecoms watchdog scrapped its planned 700MHz spectrum auction, due to start next month, following government concerns over security.
The Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS) said it made the decision to discontinue the auction process, which would have started on 1 December, after the government decided to keep the 694-790MHz spectrum range available for television broadcasting until 31 May 2018.
The move revokes the government’s initial plan, announced in 2014, to release the frequency for other use from 1 April 2017.
“The government has announced that the reason for today’s decision is a changed security policy situation and that there is ongoing investigation into advanced and secure broadband solution for stakeholders within public order, health, security and defence,” said Catarina Wretman, acting director general at PTS in a statement.
She added that the regulator intends to resume work “on how the band should be assigned when these preconditions have become clear”.
The 700MHz band is integral to expand data capacity for LTE networks and mobile data, and the regulator was working on the release of 2x30MHz in the entire band that was previously available.
In a post on Twitter, Telia Company’s CEO Johan Dennelind expressed his disappointment, stating the decision was “a step back for Sweden, which had the chance to lead on digitisation.”