Sferia to receive temporary 800MHz licences before MVNO launch

22 Jan 2014

Polish telecoms regulator the Office of Electronic Communications (UKE) is expected to grant fixed-wireless provider Sferia temporary, limited permissions for 800MHz frequency ranges in order to ensure continuity of services whilst the telco migrates its customers to a new platform, Telepolis writes. In late December 2013 Sferia agreed to a spectrum swap, changing its allocated frequencies in the 800MHz band to allow the government to more efficiently distribute spectrum from the digital dividend, airwaves in the 790MHz-862MHz range made available by the move from analogue to digital TV.

Under the terms of the deal, the telco was obliged to relinquish its existing spectrum holdings immediately, but was prevented from utilising the new frequencies until the government holds the auction for the remaining concessions in the 800MHz band. The measures are intended to prevent Sferia stealing a march on its wireless rivals by using the spectrum to launch a Long Term Evolution (LTE) network ahead of the sale. In order to ensure continuity of services, however, the government will issue temporary permissions to Sferia, each valid for 30 days, allowing the telco to use its existing transmission facilities, and only in areas where it will not cause disruption to other networks. In terms of its long-term plans, Sferia is holding talks with Polkomtel regarding launching as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) over the cellco’s infrastructure. Sferia would then migrate its current CDMA2000 customers to the new platform.