29 Nov 2011
The Belgian Institute for Post and Telecommunications (BIPT) has announced the closure of its 4G spectrum auction, and disclosed the identity of the winning bidders.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, last month the regulator revealed that it received five submissions from companies looking to take part in the sale process, with all of those subsequently approved to bid. Of those five, all but one have walked away with new frequencies in the 2.6GHz band, with the government generating EUR77.79 million (USD103.67 million) from the sale. The biggest spender was BUCD BVBA, which has acquired a total of 45MHz of spectrum (2575MHz-2620MHz) for EUR22.51 million. Fixed line incumbent Belgacom (2500MHz-2520MHz/2620MHz-2640MHz) and the country’s second largest cellco by subscribers, Mobistar (2550MHz-2570MHz/2670MHz-2690MHz), meanwhile both bagged 2×20MHz for EUR20.22 million and EUR20.02 million respectively. Rounding out the winners was KPN Group Belgium, which bid EUR15.4 million for 2×15MHz blocks of spectrum (2535MHz-2550MHz/2655MHz-2670MHz), with Craig Wireless failing to pick up any new frequencies.
The BIPT has said that it aims to assign the 4G licences to the successful bidders ‘as soon as it has completed the full administrative procedure’. The concessions will be valid for 15 years, starting from 1 July 2012.
Commenting on the auction results, Luc Hindryckx, BIPT chairman, said: ‘The development of the digital economy is essential to the economic growth and prosperity. With the result of the 4G auction an important step forward has been taken to allow all citizens to benefit from the digital economy. The allocation of the 4G frequencies will continue to boost the market for mobile telephony and mobile internet in Belgium. I am looking forward to seeing the users benefit from lower prices and numerous new applications from 4G.’