Sferia's 800MHz usage postponed to January

1 Oct 2014

Polish CDMA network operator Sferia, which had been promised 800MHz band 4G-suitable mobile frequencies to become valid for use from 1 October 2014, has had the permitted launch date postponed until 1 January 2015 by a decision of telecoms regulator UKE, reports Telecompaper. The watchdog explained that a clause in an earlier decision blocks operators from launching services in the 800MHz band until the entire ‘digital dividend’ (790MHz-862MHz band freed up by the transfer of analogue-to-digital TV) is distributed. The planned 800MHz licence auction was cancelled by UKE in February 2014 following technical problems, and reports have suggested it might not be relaunched before the end of the year.

TeleGeography notes that via a settlement between the Polish government and Sferia – which became legally binding in August 2013 – Sferia was awarded 2×5MHz in the 800MHz band in return for withdrawing its claims against the state at the International Court of Arbitration. Sferia is not permitted to bid for further 800MHz spectrum in the upcoming digital dividend auction. Sferia is a CDMA voice/internet provider associated with Zygmunt Solorz-Zak, the owner of Polish mobile network operating companies Aero2, Mobyland and CenterNet, which already cooperate on 4G frequency sharing.