NPT launches consultation on 800MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz spectrum auction rules

16 Aug 2013

The Norwegian Post and Telecommunications Authority (NPT) has announced a consultation on the auction rules for the sale of digital dividend spectrum in the 800MHz band, as well as 900MHz and 1800MHz frequencies. In addition, the regulator has also confirmed that as part of the consultation it will be seeking feedback on the proposed terms and conditions of draft licences, with a deadline for responses set as 30 September 2013.

Reiterating a March 2013 press release in the Ministry of Transport & Communications (MoTC) which called for 100% of Norwegian households to have access to a basic broadband service within the next couple of years, the NPT said that spectrum in the 800MHz band was ‘key to fulfilling this objective as spectrum in this frequency band has superior coverage reach and is therefore ideal for coverage in rural areas’. As a result of this, the watchdog has confirmed that one of the 800MHz concessions will include a coverage obligation; the winner of the licence will be required to offer a service with a minimum average access speed of 2Mbps within five years of its award.

As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in March 2013 the MoTC said that, with an eye on ensuring competition in the sector, a cap of 2×10MHz would be implemented for the sale of 800MHz frequencies, although this will reportedly only apply to those operators which already have significant mobile spectrum holdings. Frequencies in the 900MHz and 1800MHz bands will be auctioned simultaneously with the 800MHz spectrum, and the MoTC has previously said that a cap of 2×20MHz will apply to 1800MHz spectrum, while in the 900MHz band there will be a cap of 2×15MHz.