Orange highest bidder in 4G auction

20 Oct 2015

Poland’s Office of Electronic Communications (UKE) has released the full results of the 4G spectrum auction which ended last week, with Orange Polska emerging as the highest bidder. It paid a total of PLN3.17 billion (USD859 million) for two 5MHz blocks of paired frequencies in the 800MHz band and three blocks of 2×5MHz at 2600MHz. The three other 800MHz packets on offer were won by new entrant NetNet (PLN2.05 billion), plus existing cellcos T-Mobile Poland (PLN2.02 billion) and P4/Play (PLN1.50 billion).

The other incumbent mobile operator, Polkomtel, had already pulled out of the 800MHz bidding, saying it would be better if operators collaborated on the rollout of one or perhaps two nationwide 4G LTE networks to avoid duplicating infrastructure, but it did pay a total of PLN155.8 million for four 2×5MHz blocks in the 2600MHz band. The remaining tranches of 2600MHz spectrum were won by T-Mobile (PLN115.8 million for three blocks) and P4 (PLN222.4 million for four blocks).

Orange was the only one of the incumbent operators without any 800MHz/2600MHz 4G spectrum prior to the sale (although it offers LTE via 1800MHz spectrum), so had always been expected to be the highest bidder. A sixth company, Hubb Investments, pre-qualified for the auction when it began back in February, but failed to participate in the bidding.