German 4G Auction: It’s Done

Posted by Sam Churchill on

Unstrung reports the long-running German spectrum auction finally came to end on Thursday afternoon after a total of 224 bidding rounds and 27 “auction days” since April 12.

According to regulator Bundesnetzagentur, the total sum raised from the sale of the 41 frequency blocks was almost €4.4 billion ($5.4 billion). The blocks were sold in four frequency bands: 800MHz (paired); 1.8GHz (paired); 2.0GHz (paired and unpaired); and 2.6GHz (paired and unpaired).

  • 800 MHz (digital dividend), paired 60 MHz
  • 1800 MHz, paired 50MHz
  • 2100 MHz (3G), paired 39.6MHz
  • 2100 MHz (3G), unpaired 19.2MHz
  • 2600 MHz (BWA), paired 140MHz
  • 2600 MHz (BWA), unpaired 50MHz

The winning bids are:

  • Vodafone D2: €1,422,503,000 ($1,758,907,135), for 12 blocks in total
  • Telefónica O2: €1,378,605,000 ($1,703,564,840), 11 blocks
  • Telekom Deutschland (T-Mobile) : €1,299,893,000 ($1,605,122,503), 10 blocks
  • E-Plus Service: €283,645,000 ($350,113,159), 8 blocks

The 790 to 862MHz band is known as the “Digital Dividend” spectrum, because as countries switch from analog to digital television, this band if freed up. But it will not be available in many countries before 2015-2020.

E-Plus was the only one of Germany’s four mobile-phone operators that didn’t secure spectrum in the coveted 800 megahertz band. The 4G auction did not raise as much money as the one for 3G frequencies held at the height of the dotcom bubble in 2000. That auction generated 50 billion euros.

The auction is considered a benchmark for other European countries, says the WSJ, since it is the first time operators can secure spectrum for 4G networks like LTE. The government hopes to expand broadband coverage using so-called “white spots,” for Internet speed of at least 1 Mbps for all households by the end of 2010. By 2014, the target is 50 megabits per second or more for 75 percent of households.

The Indian spectrum auction also finished this week. The Indian Department of Telecommunications reports nine cellular firms participated in more than 180 rounds of bidding over 34 days. The Indian government is likely to earn 509.6 billion rupees (US$11 billion) from the auction.

This Friday, India will open bidding for broadband wireless access in the 2.3 GHz band. India plans to auction two (20 MHz) slots in each of India’s 22 circles, with the base price for one pan-India slot set at INR17.5 billion (US$384 million), half of the 3G auction’s minimum. Some 11 applicants have been approved to take part in the auctions: Aircel, Augere, Bharti Airtel, Idea, Infotel, Reliance, Spice, Tata, Tikona, Vodafone and Qualcomm — which is promoting TD-LTE technology in the 2.3 GHz band, rather than WiMAX.

Related Dailywireless articles include; Auctions Winding Down in Germany & India, Germany 4G Auctions Begin, Europe to Follow, India: World’s Best Broadband Deal?, Indian 3g/4g Auction: Qualcomm Bidding TD-LTE, India’s 3g/4G Auction: On the Move , India: Auction is On, India Sets 3G Auction Price Higher, WiMax: East Meets West, China Mobile: Slow TD-SCDMA Sales.

Posted by Sam Churchill on Thursday, May 20th, 2010 at 12:59 pm .

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