T-Mobile buys extra 3G bandwidth

5 Apr 2004

The Austrian arm of Germany’s T-Mobile has said that it will buy 2 × 5Mhz of UMTS frequency from 3G Mobile, subject to approval from the Telekom Control Commission (TCC). Following completion of the deal, T-Mobile Austria will preside over 2 × 15Mhz of UMTS spectrum in the paired range and 10Mhz in the unpaired range.

3G Mobile was formed by Telefónica Móviles in September 2000, and won a 3G licence two months later, paying EUR117 million for two paired frequency blocks. The operator failed to meet its 2002 launch date, and in August 2003 revealed that it was considering one of three options: handing the licence back to the government, keeping it – but paying a fine for failing to meet its rollout deadline – or selling it on. In January 2004, it was announced that the last-named was Telefónica’s preferred option, with the company agreeing to sell the licence to Austria’s dominant cellco Mobilkom. The takeover, which was approved by the TCC before Christmas, carried a condition that Mobilkom sell one of its four frequency blocks by 31 January 2005.