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Auction delays: Huawei launches another appeal against exclusion from Sweden’s 5G

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Meanwhile, in the UK, Ofcom confirms bidders for ‘imminent’ spectrum auction, although no date has been set.

Huawei has again appealed against the terms of Sweden’s 5G licences, which the government was planning to auction this month: operators have been told they must not deploy equipment made by Chinese vendors Huawei and ZTE in 5G infrastructure as a condition of the 5G licences on security grounds.

Huawei stalled the auction by appealing against the decision in November through the Swedish courts – and Chinese officials issued threats about consequences if it was not overruled – but the Swedish regulator, the Post and Telecom Agency (PTS), fought that appeal and then announced the auction would begin on 19 January.

Reuters reports Huawei executive Kenneth Fredriksen saying, “We believe it’s critical that the auction is once again stopped until the legal uncertainties are removed, either through court settlement or out of court settlements.”

Huawei claims the ban was imposed without giving it a chance to respond and said it is keen to work with authorities to find a solution.

Back in the UK

There are no surprises in Ofcom’s confirmation of the bidders in the upcoming auction for spectrum in the 700MHz and 3.6GHz-3.8GHz bands, which is suitable for 5G.

It confirmed that the UK’s the four mobile incumbents – EE, O2 UK, Three UK and Vodafone UK – have qualified to bid.

Ofcom had said that the auction will be held as soon as it is practicable to do so, depending on the pandemic, and hoped to start mid January.

The UK has entered its third national lockdown which looks likely to last until Easter at the end of March.