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ETSA announces winners of 4G spectrum auction

17 Dec 2010

The Estonian Technical Surveillance Authority (ETSA) has announced that mobile network operator Eesti Mobiiltelefon (EMT) and fixed line telco Elion Enterprises, along with two other Finnish companies, have successfully bid for spectrum in the 2500MHz-2690MHz band. According to The Baltic Course, citing LETA/Postimees Online, six blocks of spectrum were made available by the regulator, and eleven bids by nine companies were received for the frequencies. Saunalahti Group and Dial Media, both of which are connected to Estonian triple-play provider Elisa, bagged 2×20MHz of frequency-division duplex (FDD) spectrum, suitable for ‘4G’ services using technology such as Long Term Evolution (LTE) and WiMAX, while Elion was awarded 2×10MHz of FDD spectrum. The country’s largest cellco by subscribers, EMT bagged not only 2×20MHz of FDD frequencies but laid claim to two 20MHz blocks of time-division duplex (TDD) spectrum. The winning bidders will now be required to make the relevant payments for their concessions, which have not been revealed by the regulator.

Tele2 Estonia has, meanwhile, claimed that it will contest the results of the auction, claiming that the winning bids made by both of Elisa’s subsidiaries were ‘unrealistic’. Commenting on the matter, LETA cited Toomas Tiivel, Tele2 Estonia’s chairman, as saying: ‘We find that during the contest two clearly fictitious and unrealistic bids by Elisa’s Finnish subsidiaries qualified … From the point of view of operators, the conditions of the contest were reasonable but unfortunately there were companies who maliciously took advantage of them and thus obstruct competition. We have reason to believe that these two bids will be withdrawn by bidders. If that is not done, Tele2 intends to dispute the results of the contest since we estimate that the conditions of the contest were manipulated.’

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