The Norwegian communications regulator, NKOM, with the assistance of DotEcon, has completed its auction of fixed link microwave bands at 10 GHz, 13 GHz, 18 GHz, 23 GHz, 28 GHz, 32 GHz and 38 GHz. Funn, Globalconnect, Ice, Telenor and Telia have all acquired licences for a total of nearly four GHz, raising approximately NOK 34.3m.
The auction included an exceptionally large number of frequency lots, allowing for extensive reconfiguration of operators’ spectrum holdings across multiple bands. Nkom used a combinatorial multiple round auction (CMRA) for the assignment of frequency-generic lots grouped into a total of 24 lot categories. This format allows bidders to make multiple mutually exclusive bids in each round. At the end of each round, the auction mechanism uses an optimisation algorithm to determine whether, given the bids received, there is a optimal assignment that includes all of the bidders who are still bidding at clock prices, and otherwise which prices need to increase in order to resolve demand conflicts. The assignment of specific frequencies was determined in a follow-up process with a view to maximise contiguity of holdings, using a sealed bid process.
DotEcon advised NKOM on the design of the auction, which was executed using DotEcon’s WebBidder™ auction software. The auction was successfully completed during the COVID-19 restrictions in the Spring of 2020, with all aspects of the process being run online.