Nkom confirms auction to determine NetCom and Telenor 1800MHz spectrum placement

22 Jan 2016

Telenor Norway and NetCom will have to take part in a spectrum assignment auction, after failing to agree on the placements of frequencies won by the pair last month.

As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in December 2015 Telenor and NetCom secured LTE-suitable 1800MHz spectrum, with the former paying NOK583.32 million (USD65.7 million) for a 2×10MHz block and the latter NOK292.66 million for a 2×5MHz block. Following the sale the Norwegian Communications Authority (Nkom) revealed that the two operators could negotiate the placement of their new spectrum holdings between themselves by 20 January. However, with Telenor and NetCom having failed to reach a consensus, the regulator has now confirmed that the pair will have to take part in a spectrum assignment auction to determine which actual frequencies the cellcos get, with the deadline for bids from the pair set as 28 January 2016.

In separate but related news, Telenor has announced the launch of voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) at no additional cost to its subscribers with compatible handsets. Highlighting the fact that it had built out a 4G network utilising three frequency bands – 800MHz, 1800MHz and 2.6Ghz – the operator has suggested that the introduction of VoLTE will offer a notable improvement in indoor coverage, while it claims call connection times will fall from the current seven to ten seconds down to two to three seconds.