One 3G System for all of Sweden
The National Post and Telecom Agency has rejected plans by mobile telephone operators to complete the introduction of high-speed 3G networks using cheaper technology.
Two operators, Hi3G and Vodaphone, had applied to use the alternative CDMA 450 technology in sparsely populated areas, rather than the more expensive UMTS system used in the rest of the country. While the plan would have saved the operators money, it would have required mobile users to carry two phones.
Under the terms of the licences granted five years ago, the operators were required to cover 99.98 percent of the Swedish population by 2003. According to the telecoms agency, by the end of last year coverage had only reached 85 percent.
The agency, which has relaxed some of its rules for sharing antenna masts, says that if the 3G roll-out is not complete by this coming Spring, it will start to impose fines on operators.