Poland will not re-run 4G auction

2 Dec 2015

Poland’s new Minister of Administration and Digitisation, Anna Strezynska, has said that the government’s auction of 800MHz and 2600MHz frequencies will not be repeated, despite complaints from some participants over the way the sale was handled. The Minister has revealed that she has received objections from unnamed operators because of the state’s decision to force an early end to the auction process in mid-October. Five companies submitted bids totalling PLN9.23 billion (USD2.5 billion), which was more than five times the initial reserve price of PLN1.6 billion. The government stepped in to end the bidding because of fears that the high price of spectrum would see operators pass the costs on to customers in the form of tariff hikes for 4G services.

Separately, it has been reported that Orange Polska and T-Mobile Poland are testing 4G services using 2100MHz spectrum. While the firms say they have no immediate plans to utilise the band for LTE technology – assuming the 800MHz and 2600MHz auction results do stand – they will ultimately look to use 2100MHz frequencies once 4G is more established. The two telcos have signed a network sharing agreement in Poland which sees them collaborate on the rollout of infrastructure, whilst all major operators in the country already offer commercial LTE services largely using the 1800MHz band.