NPT announces winners of 800MHz, 900MHz and 1800MHz frequency auction

6 Dec 2013

The Norwegian Post & Telecoms Authority (NPT) has revealed the identities of the winning bidders in its sale of spectrum in the 800MHz, 900MHz and 1800MHz bands. With the first phase of the auction process having closed, the regulator has confirmed that three companies will be awarded new frequencies, namely Telenor, TeliaSonera (which operates in Norway under the NetCom banner) and Telco Data. Notably, the market’s third mobile network operator Tele2 Norge (including Network Norway) missed out on spectrum in the aforementioned bands.

In terms of the spectrum that each company will receive, the NPT confirmed that both Telenor and NetCom will be awarded 2×10MHz in the 800MHz, 2×5MHz in the 900MHz band and 2×10MHz in the 1800MHz band. Newcomer Telco Data successfully bid for a slightly larger batch of frequencies, meanwhile, and will gain 2×10MHz in the 800MHz band, 2×5MHz in the 900MHz band and 2×20MHz in the 1800MHz band. In the wake of announcing the sale results, the NPT noted that all available spectrum in the 800MHz and 900MHz band has been allocated, while in the 1800MHz band three 2×5MHz blocks went unsold.

With regards to the 800MHz spectrum, which contains a coverage obligation, all three companies will be required to fulfil a usage obligation to provide mobile broadband services offering average access speeds of at least 2Mbps to 40% of the population within four years of the award of licences. In addition, with NetCom having bagged the ‘A2’ block in the 800MHz band it has undertaken the obligation to ensure that 98% of the population has access to mobile broadband services offering average access speeds of at least 2Mbps, and such services should be provided primarily through the utilisation of 800MHz spectrum; this obligation must be fulfilled within five years from the award of the licence.

With the first phase of the auction determining the winner(s) of spectrum, the NPT has confirmed that the specific frequency position of the blocks in each band will be decided in the final phase of the auction through a second bidding round. This will be conducted on 9 December, while the final auction result, including details regarding the prices to be paid by the winners, will be published by 10 December.