Four 3G licences up for grabs and maybe two 2G too

11 Jan 2007

The Post and Telecom Administration (PTA) in Iceland has sent out invitations to tender for four 15-year 3G licences. The tender, which will be based on a ‘beauty contest’ approach, will be conducted in accordance with the country’s Act 8/2005 on Third Generation Mobile Telephony. The tender will close on March 12th.

Under the terms of the tender four technically identical frequency blocks are up for grabs, each covering the whole country and each providing 2×15MHz of paired and 1×5 MHz of unpaired spectrum, as specified below:

1) 1920-1935MHz / 2110-2125MHz and 1915-1920MHz

2) 1935-1950MHz / 2125-2140MHz and 1900-1905MHz

3) 1950-1965MHz / 2140-2155MHz and 1905-1910MHz

4) 1965-1980MHz / 2155-2170MHz and 1910-1915MHz.

For the purposes of the licensing, the country has been divided into four distinct regions: a) the metropolitan area, b) West Iceland, Westfjords and the western part of North-Iceland, c) The eastern part of North-Iceland and Eastern-Iceland and d) South-Iceland and Sudurnes in Southwest-Iceland. Within 18 months of licensing the licence winners must have coverage of 40% of the country, across any of the regions. Thirty months after licensing they will be expected to reach 30% of inhabitants in each of the individual regions, while within four years this figure rises to 60%. Five years and six months after licensing, all licensees will be required to have coverage of between 60% and 75% of the inhabitants in areas b), c) and d).

The regulator has also launched a consultation on the award of two new GSM-1800 licences to operate in competition with current duopoly Simmin (Iceland Telecom) and Vodafone. The consultation closes on 17 January.