Friday 14 December 2018

Starting 700 MHz Mobile Broadband in Sweden

Better coverage across the country for 4G and 5G.
An effective online broadcast platform. The ultimate DAB killer.

The telecom authority PTS auction of licenses to use radio transmitters in the 700 MHz band has been terminated after a bidding round that determined the location in the band. Three of four mobile operators with a total biddig sum of SEK 2.8 billion (271,5 million euro) won 30 MHz of the band. This is a major step forward in preparing for the upcoming 5G market introduction 2020. - For broadcasters this will also be a boost for radio and television online distribution coverage to reach smartphones and connected cars via 4G and 5G. The 700 MHz band will also be optimal for LTE Broadcast applications.

Of wining biddig sum SEK 1,4 billion will 300 million worth provide the condition of coverage requirements, by Telia Sverige AB. Speech and data coverage (at least 10 Mbit / s) will be expanded in places where such coverage is lacking. The other bidder who took home frequencies was Net4Mobility HB, jointly owned by Tele2 and Norwegian Telenor. Hi3G Access AB also participated in the auction but won no license.

Our surveys show that mobile users around the country are using more and more data every year. The new frequencies will allow operators to continue to expand the mobile networks to meet this demand. Through the coverage requirement, we hope to address many of the coverage deficiencies currently available, said Dan Sjöblom, Director General PTS.

The government decided four years ago that the terrestrial digital television network (DVB-T2) should be moved out of the 700 MHz band to provide space for mobile broadband and telephony. For mobile broadband 700 MHz provides the best coverage efficiency in comparison with the currently higher frequencies of 800 MHz and above.

The location in the frequency band is for Telia 713-723 MHz and 768-778 MHz, for Net4Mobility 723-728 MHz and 778-783 MHz. PTS will analyze the future use of the parts of the 700 MHz band included in the auction for SDL, but not sold. The licenses are valid until 2040.

Telenor and Tele2 state in a press release that the companies signed a supplementary agreement on their joint expansion of the 5G network in Sweden. The plan is that the first customers will have access to 5G in 2020, starting in the big cities.

Media consumtion online via fixed and mobile broadband is fast increasing in Sweden. For example today only 18% of the households are watching television via the terrestrial digital network (DVB-T2) and it is estimated that around 50% of listening to programs from the public broadcaster Sveriges Radio is online. Similar developments are reported from neighboring Finland.

Opening the 700 MHz spectrum for mobile broadband means increased capacity for online distribution of radio and television in Sweden with an almost complete geographical national coverage. This might now put an end to any further speculations about DAB replacing FM radio in Sweden. 

In earlier consultations PTS has concluded that there is no consumer demand for DAB in Sweden. According to PTS FM could be further developed while supplemented by fixed and mobile broadband as a sutiable solution for broadcast radio distribution.

Read the PTS press release
700 MHz auction is closed – auction proceeds were 2,8 billion SEK

Also read
High Power 5G Radio Test in Germany
5G Public Broadcasting Is On Trial in Six European Countries
5G Smartphones in Stores Next Year
Soon Everybody Owns a Smartphone - But FM Radio Will Stay On
Europe Start Ditching Digital Terrestrial Television