800MHz, 2600MHz auction results announced

14 Oct 2014

On Monday Greece’s National Telecommunications & Post Commission (EETT) released results from its sale of frequencies in the 800MHz (digital dividend) and 2600MHz bands for 4G mobile services. Cosmote, Vodafone and Wind Hellas acquired two paired 5MHz blocks (2×10MHz) in the 800MHz band each, paying EUR103 million (USD130.5 million), EUR103.1 million and EUR103.01 million respectively. Half of the 800MHz spectrum was distributed in a preliminary stage at a fixed price (EUR51.5 million per 2×5MHz), with the remainder issued via a competitive second-round auction. Additionally, the three cellcos shared 14 paired blocks of 2×5MHz in the 2600MHz band, each paying EUR4.70 million per block (Cosmote acquiring six blocks [2×30MHz], with Vodafone and Wind claiming four blocks [2×20MHz] apiece). Furthermore, Vodafone and Cosmote each acquired two unpaired 10MHz blocks in the 2600MHz band (priced at EUR1.3 million per block). The frequency sales raised a total of EUR381.1 million for Greece, virtually equal to the minimum bidding value, due to there being no other bidders competing with the three incumbent cellcos. Cosmote paid a total of EUR134.79 million, Vodafone spent EUR124.50 million and Wind bid EUR121.83 million for its frequencies which will support its plan to enter the 4G LTE segment against its two larger rivals, both of whom have well-established LTE operations.

A Wind Hellas statement confirmed that the new spectrum will support the operator’s 4G rollout. Wind Hellas’ CEO said: ‘We will incorporate this new spectrum into our network modernisation and the current rollout of LTE services. This is a significant investment in critical spectrum that will allow us to meet the growing consumer demand for 4G mobile broadband and provide consumers the fastest data service.’

The licences have a term of 15 years, effective from 28 February 2015.