Having earlier this month been given more time to consider its bid for the country’s fourth 3G concessions by the Belgian Institute for Post and Telecommunications (BIPT), sole bidder Tecteo Telenet Bidco (TTB) has now submitted its offer for the spectrum. TTB, which is a partnership between cable operator Telenet and the Tecteo Group, which owns Walloon-based cableco VOO, has confirmed that it is looking to acquire the maximum available block of spectrum, 2×14.8MHz in the 2100MHz band, and it has offered EUR71.5 million (USD101 million), the minimum bid amount, for the new frequencies. The JV will pay the fee in annual instalments over the lifetime of its new licence, with the concessions valid until 15 March 2021. Further, TTB has also revealed that it will exercise a call option for 2G spectrum in both the 900MHz and 1800MHz bands, with frequencies expected to become available from 27 November 2015. The cableco partnership will spend an aggregate amount of EUR31.5 million, again paid in annual instalments, for 2×4.8MHz in the 900MHz and 2×10MHz in the 1800MHz band. Usage rights for all three spectrum bands which TTB has bid for are technology neutral, allowing for the rollout of high speed mobile data services potentially using 4G technologies such as Long Term Evolution (LTE). Commenting on the development, Telenet noted in a release confirming its bid that it saw ‘owning frequency spectrum acts as an insurance policy against future capacity constraints on existing mobile networks’ while it claimed acquiring the concession ‘guarantees attractive access conditions for [it] in the future.’
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, the BIPT called for submissions for the UMTS licence on 15 March 2011, and potential bidders were initially given until 29 April to come forward with a view to making an offer for the concession.