Saturday, 26 December 2020 10:56

Sweden to go ahead with 5G auction despite Huawei legal action Featured

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Sweden to go ahead with 5G auction despite Huawei legal action Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

The Swedish Post and Telecom Authority says it plans to resume the country's 5G spectrum auctions on 19 January, after obtaining approval from a court to go ahead with the same, despite the fact that Chinese vendor Huawei Technologies has gone to court over being excluded from the auctions.

The court backed the appeal by PTS, the country's telecommunications regulator, against a ruling that has halted the auction. At the same time, it has given Huawei the go-ahead to continue with its legal challenge against being excluded, according to a Reuters report.

In October, Sweden became the second European country, after the UK, to openly say that it would not allow the use of gear from Huawei and fellow Chinese supplier ZTE Corporation in its 5G networks.

A statement issued by the PTS at the time said four companies — Hi3G Access, Net4Mobility, Telia Sverige and Teracom — had been approved for participation in the 3.5 GHz and 2.3 GHz auctions, with the former set to start on 10 November.

The PTS said the ban was based on assessments made by the Swedish Armed Forces and the Swedish Security Service.

Huawei appealed against the decision and the Stockholm administrative court said on 9 November that certain parts of the PTS decision would not apply.

But PTS said last week that it had been in touch with the participating companies and would go ahead with the auction even though the proceedings would be examined by legal authorities.

Kenneth Fredriksen, Huawei’s executive vice-president, Central East Europe and Nordic Region, said: “There is an ongoing court procedure, for which I think everyone has to just wait and see.”

The auctions have been delayed twice; once for a security review and then due to the Huawei legal action.

The US has campaigned for more than two years to try and push countries it considers allies to avoid using 5G equipment from Huawei in their networks. Thus far, only Australia and Vietnam have said openly that they would follow the US' lead.

Sweden was the third country to say so publicly, but a court later suspended sections of a decision that had excluded Huawei from participating in Swedish spectrum bids. The spectrum auction itself was put on hold until last week.

New Zealand and Poland have indicated that they are likely to toe the US line, but have yet to make public pronouncements about what policy they would follow.

The UK said in January that it would allow Huawei to bid for up to a third of equipment in non-core parts of the country's 5G networks, but later changed its mind and said all Huawei gear would have to be removed by 2027.

More recently, a report said this timetable had also been changed and companies would be asked to strip out the Chinese vendor's gear by September 2021.

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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