Consultation on the assignment of the 800 MHz band

28/09/2009

PTS requests the market’s views on future use of the 800 MHz band. PTS at the same time surveys the market’s interest in licenses in the band.

Through a public consultation, PTS requests the market’s views on the planning and assignment of the frequency band 790–862 MHz (the ‘800 MHz-band’) in Sweden. The Swedish government decided in 2007 that the band should be used for other services than terrestrial broadcast television. PTS wishes to make the frequencies available to the market as soon as possible.

The 800 MHz band is situated relatively low in the radio frequency spectrum and has good propagation characteristics, which makes it suitable for indoor coverage and wide area coverage. The band is attractive for many kinds of services, including wireless broadband and mobile telephony. In recent years, the demand for wireless broadband has grown strongly in Sweden, leading to an increased interest in spectrum.

PTS therefore surveys the market’s interest in licenses in the 800 MHz band. If the demand for spectrum exceeds availability, licenses will be assigned through an auction. PTS proposes that an open invitation to the auction will be published before the summer of 2010, and that the assignment will take place during the autumn of 2010.

The PTS proposals in brief:

  • The licenses should be as technology and service neutral as possible
  • FDD band plan comprising 2x30 MHz
  • National licenses
  • License duration of 15 years
  • Electronic auction in multiple rounds carried out over the internet (SMRA – Simultaneous multi-round auction)
  • In the auction, participants may bid for one or several frequency blocks of 2x5 MHz (up to the spectrum cap)
  • Spectrum cap of 2x20 MHz, i.e. no bidder may be assigned more than 2x20 MHz of spectrum
  • Regulations to prevent closely related parties to participate in the auction simultaneously (in particular mobile operators and their joint subsidiaries for network operation)
  • Technical license conditions conforming to European harmonization, combined with certain supplementary requirements to protect terrestrial television broadcast reception.

The 800 MHz band is suitable for wide area coverage in sparsely populated areas. PTS is considering license conditions that require license holders to provide coverage in areas where residents currently lack basic infrastructure for broadband access.

PTS welcomes expressions of interest and views on the proposals. All submissions shall have reached PTS on 30 October 2009.