Norway completes first 2.6GHz spectrum in Europe

On Tuesday 13 Nov, the auction held by the Norwegian Post and Telecom Authority to award frequencies in the 2.6GHz band (the so-called ‘3G-extension band’) finished after 76 rounds. The total auction revenue was NOK 229 million (approx. EUR 29 million). The auction was implemented using DotEcon’s WebBidder system, which allows for bidders to bid remotely over the public Internet while offering strong security features. For more information about WebBidder click here.

The NPT was the first spectrum manager in Europe to complete the award of this band, which has proved somewhat of a headache for European spectrum managers in trying to address the seeming mismatch between the CEPT allocation and current market demand of paired vs. unpaired spectrum. The NPT had diverted from the CEPT allocation, which gave a larger amount of spectrum to paired use (FDD) than unpaired use (TDD), and set aside more unpaired spectrum suitable for WiMax than the CEPT band plan envisaged. However, the licences will be technology and service neutral, and where feasible may be converted to paired use.

Amongst the winners of the Norwegian auction were incumbents Netcom (owned by TeliaSonera) and Telenor as well as new entrant Craig Wireless. Craig Wireless can now build out a national WiMax network in Norway. More details about the results of the auction are available from NPT’s website.

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