Polkomtel threatens to boycott delayed LTE tender

10 Feb 2014

Polish cellco Polkomtel may boycott the Long Term Evolution (LTE) spectrum auction in protest against certain provisions of the tender which it claims drastically limit its chances of winning frequencies compared to its rivals. The cellco’s majority owner, Polish billionaire Zygmunt Solorz-Zak, has written to the Magdalena Gaj, president of the regulator Office of Electronic Communications (UKE) arguing against the application of the spectrum cap to both the 800MHz and 900MHz bands, Telecompaper writes without giving its source. Solorz-Zak complained that the 900MHz band should not be considered for the spectrum cap, as it is used for both 2G and 3G technology, whilst the 800MHz range is intended for use for 4G services only. The media tycoon went on to criticise UKE’s decision to determine a winner by a random draw in the event of equal bids and suggested that the deployment of LTE would be held up by complaints from unsuccessful bidders.

Following technical difficulties UKE has announced that it has delayed the deadline for submission of bids by a day, until 14 February. Due to a technical error, documents detailing responses from the regulator to requests for clarification were inaccessible to operators. To prevent the hitch adversely affecting providers’ ability to prepare an offer and to ensure transparency in the process, the watchdog has extended the deadline. Consequently, participants have until 14 February to submit offers for the 800MHz and 2600MHz band frequencies.