MITYC outlines new auction plans for leftover spectrum

6 Sep 2011

Having concluded a wide-ranging sale of mobile frequencies last month, Spain’s Ministerio de Industria, Turismo y Comercio (MITYC) has announced that it has launched a fresh auction aimed at allocating that spectrum which was not sold in the initial sale process. The ministry has presented the draft Ministerial Order which calls for the new sale, and it is understood that among the frequencies up for grabs are a 4.8MHz paired block in the 900MHz band, as well as five 10MHz blocks of 2.6GHz spectrum, and a concession offering a 10MHz paired block of spectrum in the autonomous community of Extremadura. The draft order also sets new limits on the maximum amount of spectrum that can be acquired by any one operator, with a cap of 25MHz paired (FDD) per operator to be implemented for the 800MHz and 900MHz, while there will also be a cap of 135MHz per operator across three frequency bands, those being 1800MHz, 2100MHz and 2.6GHz.

As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in August 2011 it was revealed that nine of the eleven bidders approved by the MITYC to take part in the government’s auction of 58 blocks of mobile spectrum totalling 270MHz had walked away with frequencies. With the sale process now having closed, the MITYC released a full list of the winners, detailing the prices paid and spectrum won, also revealing that the nine winning bidders spent a total of EUR1.65 billion (USD2.37 billion) on the spectrum that was up for grabs. Local telecoms giant Telefonica emerged as the biggest spender, committing EUR668.31 million for two lots of 2×5MHz of spectrum in the 800MHz band, a single 2×5MHz block in the 900MHz band and two lots of 2×10MHz spectrum in the 2600MHz band. UK-based Vodafone Group’s local subsidiary, Vodafone Spain, meanwhile spent the second-largest amount in the auction, paying out EUR517.59 million for a total of 60MHz of new frequencies across the 800MHz and 2600MHz bands; the cellco bagged two 2×5MHz spectrum blocks in the 800MHz, alongside a total of 40MHz in the 2600MHz band.