The telecommunications regulator in Sweden on Monday halted a spectrum auction after a court suspended “until further notice” parts of its decision that excluded Chinese telecommunications equipment maker Huawei from the country’s 5G networks, Reuters reported.

Why it matters: The court ruling granted Huawei some relief from widespread backlash in Europe. However, the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority’s (PTS) move to suspend the auction may signal future tension between Huawei and regulators.

  • The Swedish authorities have said the country must consider the Chinese state’s cyber-espionage when building its 5G networks. For more than a year, the US government has campaigned against Huawei over fears that China could use Huawei to eavesdrop on communications running through telecommunication equipment it sells across the world. Huawei has repeatedly denied the allegations.

Details: PTS was set to hold spectrum auctions for the country’s 5G networks starting on Tuesday. The regulator halted the auctions on Monday after a court in Sweden ruled that carriers using Huawei equipment could participate, Reuters reported.

  • In October, PTS said in a statement that potential spectrum grantees must not use products from Huawei and ZTE, another Chinese telecom equipment maker, in new central function installations. The government body also asked telecom companies to phase out existing infrastructure for central functions containing products from Huawei and ZTE before Jan. 1, 2025. Huawei appealed the decision last week.
  • The Stockholm administrative court said that certain parts of the regulator’s October decision will not apply until further notice, according to Reuters. 
  • Huawei has no plan for more legal action and is waiting to have “constructive dialogue” with Swedish authorities, Kenneth Fredriksen, Huawei’s executive vice president for the region told Reuters.
  • PTS said it would review the possibility of starting the auctions, which would allocate frequencies in the 3.5 GHz and 2.3 GHz bands needed for 5G communication, as soon as possible.

Wei Sheng

Writing about semiconductors and telecommunications.