Lithuania’s 900MHz, 1800MHz spectrum auction raises EUR38.1m

29 Jan 2016

Lithuania’s Communications Regulatory Authority (RRT) has announced the preliminary results of its auction of spectrum in the 880MHz-915MHz and 925MHz-960MHz paired frequency range, and the 1710MHz-1785MHz and 1805MHz-1880MHz paired band. The country’s three existing mobile network operators – Tele2, Omnitel and Bite Lithuania – were the winning bidders for the spectrum, offering a combined total of EUR38.1 million (USD41.1 million). The trio currently have the right to use the frequencies for wireless telephony and data services until 31 October 2017, and as such, the new licences will be valid from 1 November 2017 to 31 October 2032. The winning bidders will be required to ensure territorial coverage of at least 98% within three years from the date of authorisation, as well as ensuring high speed (at least 30Mbps) wireless broadband population coverage of at least 85% of the country from 1 January 2020.

For its part, Omnitel claims it offered the highest price (EUR14.3 million) for ‘radio frequency block bundle No. C1’, giving it the right to choose its preferred spectrum first. The TeliaSonera-owned company said it has requested block A2 (891.7MHz-903.3MHz and 936.7MHz-948.3MHz) and block B2 (1735MHz-1760MHz and 1830MHz-1855MHz). Explaining its selection, Omnitel said: ‘The chosen frequency blocks will ensure high 2G, 3G and 4G network capacity and maximum coverage of Lithuania’s territory, including and state border areas, as the chosen frequency blocks have the biggest number of priority frequency channels harmonised with the neighbouring countries. Those channels also have the least limitations compared with the other frequency blocks.’

According to the regulator, information regarding the auction results will be reviewed by the director of the RRT, as well as the auction participants, each of which will have the opportunity to submit a claim within seven working days concerning any potential violation of the auction procedure. If no claims are received, then the director of the RRT will approve the auction winners after this term expires.