Telia plays down failure over licence


Swedish national telecoms operator Telia insisted yesterday its Nordic strategy was on track, as it battled to limit the damage caused by its failure to win a third-generation mobile licence on its home territory.

"Telia will be able to offer mobile broadband services, including UMTS, at the same time as other actors in the Swedish market," said Ms Marianne Nivert, acting chief executive. Analysts said its best chance would be to strike a deal with one of the four licence winners.

It is the first time a leading national carrier has not secured a 3G licence in its home market. It is a particular blow for a company that claims to be one of the world's most advanced mobile operators in one of the most advanced markets.

The firm's shares fell 17 per cent to a new low of 49 Swedish krona in early trading. They later recovered to close nearly 12 per cent down on the day at SKr52.50.