FNA advisory board gives frequency auction plans green light

13 Oct 2009

The advisory board of Germany’s network regulator, the Federal Network Agency (FNA), has given the go-ahead to the planned auction of wireless spectrum scheduled for the second quarter of 2010, ComputerWoche.de reports. The 16-member panel voted unanimously for the auction of a spectrum package of 360MHz, including spectrum in the digital dividend range of 800MHz. The board rejected concerns raised by EU Commissioner Vivian Reding that the plans could lead to discrimination against the mobile market’s smaller operators. Under the current proposals, Germany will auction a total of 60MHz in the 800MHz frequency band freed up from the switchover from analogue to digital TV. Mobile operators are permitted to buy a total of 20MHz each, meaning that one of the country’s four network operators will leave empty-handed. In response to the board’s approval of the plans, the market’s smaller cellcos Telefonica O2 Germany and E-Plus said they are considering legal action against the FNA. Meanwhile, incumbent telco Deutsche Telekom’s mobile unit T-Mobile Deutschland and Vodafone Germany welcomed the clear vote of the panel: ‘We now hope that the auction will be actively pursued at the beginning of next year,’ said a Vodafone spokesperson.