Court rejects claims against frequency auction filed by O2, E-Plus

19 Mar 2010

An administrative court in Cologne has rejected claims by two mobile network operators, Telefonica O2 Germany and KPN’s E-Plus, objecting to the procedures of Germany’s largest mobile spectrum auction since the allocation of UMTS concessions in 2000, planned for 12 April 2010. As reported by CommsUpdate, the two cellcos filed lawsuits against the telecoms regulator, the Federal Network Agency (FNA), in November 2009, arguing that the auction could see larger rivals T-Mobile Deutschland and Vodafone Germany come away with more of the mobile spectrum freed up from the switchover from analogue to digital television (digital dividend), even though they already have more spectrum than the two smaller players, E-Plus and O2. E-Plus also filed a second lawsuit against the auction conditions, stating that they endanger the long term broadband plans of the government to bring download speeds of at least 1Mbps to the whole population by end-2010. Although the court’s ruling permits a federal court appeal, E-Plus has said it will study the verdict before deciding on more legal steps and at the same time, confirmed that it will still participate in the auction.