The Swiss federal communications commission ComCom has confirmed that it will award all of the mobile radio frequencies which will become free in the next few years in a single auction to be held in the first quarter of next year. The deadline for candidates to express their interest in the auction has been set for the end of September this year, with the auction proper to be held in the first quarter of 2012. Bidding restrictions (spectrum caps) will prevent one operator from acquiring more than half of all duplex frequencies on offer. The combined spectrum cap for the 800MHz and 900MHz frequency bands will be reduced slightly to take into account the operators’ continuity risk.
The federal communications office Bakom will publish the amended tender documents on its website at the end of July. To participate in the auction, both the existing mobile licensees (In&Phone, Orange, Sunrise and Swisscom) and any new market entrants have until 30 September to submit a candidature dossier to Bakom. In this they must specify the maximum amount of spectrum they wish to purchase in the individual bands. They must also submit a bank guarantee amounting to 50% of the minimum bid for the requested frequencies and show that they can comply with the legal licensing requirements and the specific obligations of the tender. If a candidate meets the requirements, it will be authorised by ComCom to participate in the auction. In order to prevent possible collusion and agreements between bidders, ComCom will not announce the names of the candidates, the winners, the acquired spectrum and the award price until after the auction ends.