Sonofon, the Danish mobile division of Norwegian telco Telenor, yesterday paid DKK533 million (EUR71.5 million) for Denmark’s fourth 3G licence following an auction in which it was the only participant. The UMTS licence covers the frequency bands 1965MHz-1980MHz paired with 2155MHz-2170MHz, as well as unpaired spectrum in the 1910MHz-1915MHz band, and stipulates that W-CDMA network coverage must exceed 30% of the country’s population by 2009, and 80% by 2013. The spectrum was previously held by Orange Denmark but was returned to the authorities following the company’s takeover by TeliSonera’s local unit Telia Denmark. Sonofon says it plans to launch its first 3G service for business users in 2006. CEO Henrik Clausen stated: ‘We are looking forward to launching effective and exciting 3G services for businesses and consumers alike. Rollout of the new mobile network is progressing rapidly and we expect to launch the first services in major Danish cities during 2006…We are very pleased with obtaining the 3G licence at this point when the market is almost mature. Our customers are aware 3G handsets are being sold in increasing numbers. The Danish authorities have been expedient in putting the licence up for auctioning and we will now ensure that the licence is converted rapidly into services which will benefit our customers and the competition in the Danish market.’ Sonofon will compete against existing 3G licensees Telia, Hi3G Access Denmark and TDC Mobil.