Germany’s largest spectrum auction since the allocation of UMTS concessions in 2000 will take place on 12 April 2010, local daily Die Welt reports, citing industry sources. The report adds that five companies wishing to take part in the sale are known to be incumbent telco Deutsche Telekom’s (DT’s) mobile unit T-Mobile, UK-based Vodafone, Spain’s Telefonica O2 Germany, KPN’s E-Plus, and Stuttgart-based Airdata. Last month, the country’s network regulator, the Federal Network Agency (FNA), revealed that six bidders had requested to take part in the auction, but the companies have requested anonymity. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the auction involves licences for spectrum freed up in the switchover from analogue to digital television. A spectrum package of 360MHz is set for sale, including spectrum in the 1.7GHz, 1.8GHz, 2GHz and 2.6GHz ranges, as well as 60MHz in the digital dividend range of 800MHz. The government hopes the auction will help close the digital divide in Germany by speeding up the rollout of broadband internet and increasing coverage in rural areas.