Yesterday’s decision by the Swedish Government - a step back for the digitalization in Sweden

Tue, Nov 01, 2016 11:06 EST

As a consequence of a decision by the Swedish government, the national regulator (PTS) has cancelled the on-going auction of frequencies in the 700-Mhz band for mobile broadband. The auction will be postponed until an investigation has clarified the requirement on future mobile services for the public safety. The decision greatly complicates and delays the important expansion of mobile infrastructure in particularly rural areas.

The consumption of data in mobile networks is increasing by over 80 percent annually. To meet the huge increase in demand it is essential to have access to more spectrum. Without, Sweden risks to get a negative trend with lower speeds in mobile networks, especially in rural areas where access to appropriate frequencies is limited. To use the 700 MHz band for mobile services is crucial for Sweden to be able to take the next step in the digitalization. Therefore, we regret the Government's decision, says Hélène Barnekow, Executive Vice President Head of Region Sweden.

It is crucial that important public functions have access to future proof communication and we welcome that this will be further investigated. However, further investigation should not be the reason for stopping the auction of the 700 MHz band. The mobile operators have shown that they can deliver a secure, cost effective and fast implemented solution for public safety through the commercial mobile networks. It is now important that the authorities, together with the market participants sit down and discuss what solutions there are for the public safety functions, says Hélène Barnekow.

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