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Ofcom to free up 700 MHz band for mobile, eventually

You can never have too much spectrum

UK telecoms regulator Ofcom has announced it will make the 700 MHz frequency band available for mobile broadband services, effectively moving broadcast TV and wireless microphones aside to make room. There’s no need for operators to reform their auction teams just yet though, as Ofcom doesn’t reckon it’s going to happen until 2022.

Brazil encourages new bidders in 700MHz 4G auction

Paulo Bernardo, Brazilian Minister of Communications, left, and João Batista de Rezende, President of ANATEL, right

The top brass of Brazilian communications regulation gathered at the Institute of Directors in central London today for the latest leg in the 700MHz 4G auction roadshow, with the apparent aim of opening up the process to new bidders outside of the four national incumbents.

Vodafone spends £1.9bn on Indian 4G spectrum

Vodafone will use some of the spectrum for 4G services

Vodafone India said Friday it has spent £1.9bn (INR19,645 crores) on spectrum licenses for 11 circles in the country.

Uncertainty and risk: the results of spectrum renewal by auction

Graham_Friend

The use of auctions for spectrum renewal seems pointless and likely only to create uncertainty and risk for operators, says Graham Friend, managing director at Coleago Consulting. New entrants know they are likely to be outbid by incumbents and the uncertainty generated dampens the desire of those incumbents to invest and innovate, which is not good at a time when governments want to see a rapid and extensive roll-out of LTE.

Belgian 800MHz auction raises €360m

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Belgium’s three mobile operators, Belgacom, Mobistar and KPN-owned Base have each received 2 x 10MHz of 800MHz spectrum in the country’s latest spectrum auction, at a price of €120m per allocation. There were no other entrants in the auction, which was run by Belgian regulator BIPT.

Czech regulator reschedules LTE auction

Prague, Czech Republic

The Czech Telecommunications Office (CTU) has announced its LTE auction will begin mid November 2013. The Czech regulator abandoned its efforts to hold the auction in March this year, when bids spiralled out of control.

Australian regulator hits back at auction “failure” accusations

Chris Chapman, ACMA Chair, has taken issue with comments from Coleago

The head of the Australian telecoms regulator has hit back at allegations that the recent spectrum auction was “damaging to the economy” and dismissed claims that one of the country’s three operators was deterred from participating by high reserve prices. The criticisms were levelled at ACMA by the CEO of spectrum auction planning specialist Coleago Consulting on Wednesday.

Regulator stops Czech auction over pricing worries

Prague, Czech Republic

The Czech regulator has pulled the plug on an auction for 800MHz, 1800MHz and 2600MHz spectrum after bids rocketed out of control.

UK 4G auction: seven bidders raises the prospect of an upset for one of the incumbents

Ofcom has proposed revised plans for the UK 4G auction scheduled for the end of the year

The presence of BT and PCCW – which owns fixed-wireless 4G operator UK Broadband – among the bidders in the UK’s upcoming 4G spectrum auction has put a new twist on the narrative for the country’s mobile market. In the run-up to the auction, which will see regulator Ofcom sell off the 800MHz and 2.6GHz frequencies, the perceived wisdom was that challenger operator 3 UK would pick up the 800MHz block reserved for an operator that holds no sub-1GHz spectrum, and the rest would be business as usual. However, with these companies entering the fray, the picture becomes much murkier.

UK 4G spectrum award process kicks off

The 4G auction is getting underway

Tuesday marks the next important milestone in the UK’s telecoms market as prospective bidders submit applications for 4G spectrum.

Between 10:00 and 16:00 on December 11, 2012, interested parties are able to submit applications, accompanied by an initial deposit of £100,000 into Ofcom’s bank account. The passing of the deadline takes the UK one step closer to the completion of a highly controversial and long-awaited spectrum action, which is expected to be finalised by February or March next year.

Spectrum auction delayed as Telkomsel declared bankrupt

Telkomsel believes it has fallen foul of a quirk of the law

Indonesia’s biggest mobile operator by some margin, Telkomsel, has been declared bankrupt on a technicality, throwing an auction for additional 3G spectrum into disarray.

Telenor must continue JV to stay in India, rules court

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A court in India has ruled that Norwegian operator group Telenor may only bid for spectrum in the country’s upcoming 2G auction if it does so as part of its joint venture with Indian real estate firm Unitech. The auction is now set to be held in January 2013, after the Supreme Court of India granted the government another deadline extension.

Everything Everywhere cleared to launch LTE1800

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LTE services could be launched in the UK in as early as three weeks, after the country’s regulator has given permission to Everything Everywhere (EE) to use its existing 1800 MHz spectrum to deliver the technology to consumers. Ofcom has ruled that the operator will be allowed to launch LTE services at any point from September 11, 2012.

Delayed arrival of 4G in UK puts nation light years behind

The UK is already seen as Europe’s most complex and fragmented telecoms market

The UK is already seen as Europe’s most complex and fragmented telecoms market and it now looks set to add another unwanted title to its repertoire as that of Europe’s 4G laggard. Europe’s telecoms markets are already dividing into two camps of 4G “haves” and “have-nots” and the UK lies firmly stuck in the latter. The auction proposal set out this week by Ofcom means that the UK will not see 4G LTE services go live until later in 2013 at the earliest, putting UK mobile consumers almost four years behind the world’s leading 4G markets.

Ofcom guarantees LTE spectrum for fourth operator

Ofcom has said that a fourth wholesale operator will be guaranteed LTE spectrum if the reserve price is met

UK regulator Ofcom has unveiled plans for the country’s 4G spectrum auction. The UK has lagged other leading markets and Ofcom has revealed that spectrum will be allocated in 2013. Ofcom has set aside spectrum intended to guarantee the presence of four LTE operators in the UK market.

Indian court cancels 122 mobile licences

India's Supreme Court orders the country's 2G licences to be scrapped and re-auctioned

The Supreme Court of India has cancelled 122 telecoms licences that were awarded in the country’s 2G auction. The country sold its 2G spectrum licences in 2008 on a first-come, first-served basis. However, it emerged that they were sold unlawfully, with former cabinet minister Andimuthu Raja currently in jail awaiting trial for his role in the scandal. As a result, it is estimated that the country lost around $40bn in lost revenue by not auctioning the licences.

Arcep awards French 800MHz 4G spectrum

Bouygues, SFR and Orange all won spectrum in the 800MHz auction

French regulator Arcep has said that it has awarded 4G licences in the 800Mhz band to the incumbent operators Bouygues, Orange and SFR. Fourth applicant Free Mobile, owned by Iliad, was not successful. All four operators were previously awarded 4G licences at 2.6GHz.

Greece causes stir with 2G spectrum re-auction

Could the Greek carriers be forced to pay through the nose for 900MHz spectrum?

The Greek mobile market is in a spin this week after national regulator the EETT issued a proposal for the re-auctioning of GSM spectrum licenses which are due to expire in 2012. The move is controversial because it is an unusual renewal process, but also because the authority has set reserve prices at more than double the European average.

How to participate successfully in a spectrum auction

The last time spectrum was at the top of the sector’s corporate agenda was 10 years ago when governments auctioned 3G spectrum

Surging mobile data growth and network congestion have created demand for additional spectrum. Governments seeking to reduce national borrowing are anxious to auction additional spectrum to raise revenue whilst also promoting access to broadband services. Mobile operators have little choice but to participate or potentially suffer a loss of competitive advantage.

O2 UK claims LTE spectrum auction is illegal

O2 believes that Ofcom's UK LTE spectrum auction is illegal under EU law

The UK arm of Telefónica, O2, has released a statement blasting UK regulator Ofcom’s consultation over the forthcoming digital dividend spectrum auction.

The operator is objecting to the use of spectrum floors, whereby at least four operators will get at least 10MHz of spectrum below 1GHz. However, O2 believe that these spectrum floors amount to a state aid, which would make them illegal under EU law.

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