Poland pauses LTE auction again as it considers bid cap

26 May 2015

The Polish government is considering altering the rules covering wireless spectrum auctions in an effort to speed up the sale process. The state is currently auctioning off frequencies in the 800MHz and 2600MHz bands suitable for 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology, but the bidding has dragged on for several months. The Ministry of Administration and Digitalisation (MAiC) is proposing to implement a price cap equivalent to four times the reserve price of the spectrum on offer, RPKom reports. The current sale of 19 lots had a combined reserve price of PLN1.6 billion (USD427 million), meaning the cap would be set at PLN6.4 billion under the proposed amendment; the six companies participating in the auction have so far entered bids totalling PLN3.6 billion.

Meanwhile, the ongoing LTE auction has once again been paused in order that bidders can hand over further deposit payments. Under the auction requirements, participants must hand over a deposit equivalent to 25% of their total bids when the bidding arrives at certain thresholds. The first of these was at PLN2 billion, and the sale process was halted for several weeks in March/April as deposits were collected. With the total now at PLN3.6 billion bidders must once again top up their deposit payments to the 25% level. The bidders include existing cellcos Orange Polska, T-Mobile Poland, Polkomtel and P4 (Play), plus a company associated with Emitel, and NetNet, which is owned by Szymon Ruta, who has links to Cyfrowy Polsat and Polkomtel.