Sweden has refused to relax it terms and conditions of its 3G licenses despite receiving requests from two of its major operators Orange and Vodafone.
Orange recently made an appeal for an extension of the roll out deadline and/or a reduction in the level of coverage necessary, but the authorities promptly threw this out. If the company doesn’t manage roll out the network by 2003-yearend it will be in breach of the terms and conditions of the 3G license and Orange will be obliged to pay some heavy duty fines.
Just as the authorities made the decision to reject Orange’s request, Vodafone Sweden also asked for greater flexibility. The company has argued that delays have occurred due to difficulties in getting permission to erect masts. However, it is unlikely that Vodafone will receive a different response from the authorities.
Sweden has taken a hard line attitude to the 3G license conditions in comparison to the rest of Europe where terms and conditions are being relaxed left, right and center. French, and Spanish authorities are among those who have proved to be more lenient.