Germany’s telecoms regulator, the Federal Network Agency (FNA), has said it plans to start the auction process for 900MHz and 1800MHz frequencies from 2014, ahead of the expiration of the current spectrum licences at the end of 2016, Reuters reports. The watchdog said the move would accelerate the rollout of mobile broadband services in rural areas to help bridge the digital divide. Currently, the aforementioned frequencies are used for GSM mobile (voice and SMS) by the country’s four mobile network operators, Telekom Deutschland (owned by Deutsche Telekom), UK-owned Vodafone, Telefonica of Spain and E-Plus, the local unit of Dutch telecoms firm Royal KPN. The FNA said it would also add 700MHz spectrum to the auction, currently used by radio and television broadcasters, as well as spectrum in the 1.5GHz band. Mobile operators have until 4 October 2013 to submit their opinion about the regulator’s plans, with a final decision to be made early next year.