Germany Gets LTE

In May the German government raised EUR4.38 billion in spectrum auctions (final results).

The country’s four operators – Vodafone, T-Mobile, Telefonica O2 and KPN’s E-Plus – all bought spectrum.

Now they’re beginning to roll out LTE service.

The German spectrum auction ran a total of 224 bidding rounds over 27 days in April, 2010. According to German 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).

The German auction, like other auctions around the world, split the 2.6GHz (4G) band into two segments; a 140 chunk for paired frequencies and a 50 MHz chunk for unpaired frequencies. Whether the unpaired swath will be used with WiMAX or TD-LTE remains to be seen. T-Mobile was not enthusiastic about unpaired 2.6GHz – they only bought 5 MHz. Other carriers bought 10 or 20 MHz chunks.

In other LTE news, TeliaSonera, which launched the first commercial LTE network in the world, has begun offering LTE services in Gothenburg, Sweden’s second largest city. By the end of 2010, TeliaSonera plans to cover 25 cities around Sweden. By the end of 2011, their 4G network should be available at over 200 locations.

The Germany government raised $5.5 billion from their spectrum auction, less than expected, while India’s government raised $14.5 billion, more money than predicted. Regulators have abrogated their responsibilities and morphed into profiteering auctioneers, says Bengt Nordstrom in Business Week.

Posted by Sam Churchill on .

Leave a Reply