The Swiss Communications Commission (ComCom) expects to raise ‘several hundred million Swiss francs’ from an auction of frequencies in the first half of 2011. ComCom has launched the public tender for mobile frequencies in the 800MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, 2100MHz and 2600MHz ranges. Some frequencies are available for use immediately, while others are part of the existing GSM and UMTS licences of Swisscom, Sunrise, Orange Switzerland and In&Phone, and will become free on 31 December 2013 and 31 December 2016, respectively. According to ComCom the frequencies will be auctioned, with interested parties having until 18 March 2011 to register their interest. Each registration is expected to include the maximum amount of spectrum an applicant wishes to purchase within the individual bands, as well as a bank guarantee in the amount of the minimum bid for the frequencies they are applying for. In total there are 61 frequencies blocks in the auction, which if all sold will raise a minimum of CHF600 million (USD597 million).
The new licences will be valid until 2028 and will be awarded on a technology-neutral basis. The auction format is designed so that both the number of licences and the available bandwidth are not predetermined by ComCom. The auction will be conducted using an electronic auction system which allows secure bidding over the internet.