Nkom roundup: regulator details 700MHz/2100MHz spectrum sale plans; gauges interest in 450MHz frequencies; sets new FTRs

21 Mar 2019

Norway’s National Communications Authority (Nasjonal kommunikasjonsmyndighet, Nkom) has confirmed that it is aiming to allocate spectrum in the 700MHz and 2100MHz bands via an auction which will commence in June 2019. In a press release regarding its plans, the regulator noted that it expects to publish the final auction rules for the sale process next month, with a deadline for registering to take part scheduled for May 2019. With test auctions then planned for the latter half of May 2019, the auction itself would then begin in the first week of June. The Nkom has, however, noted that all timings are subject to change. As noted in TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the watchdog previously revealed in July 2018 that it intends to make available a total of 2×30MHz in the 700MHz band and 2×15MHz in the 2100MHz band.

Separately, the Nkom has also revealed that, with mobile network operator (MNO) ice’s existing licence for spectrum in the 450MHz band due to expire at the end of this year, it has called for parties interested in applying for frequencies in this band to do so by 26 April. With the regulator confirming that a 2×5MHz block in the band will be available, it has specified that the licence which it will offer will include a requirement to cover 30% of the country within five years the concession being awarded.

Meanwhile, alongside detailing its plans for the 450MHz, 700MHz and 2100MHz bands, the Nkom has also confirmed that there will be a total frequency cap applied on the spectrum MNOs hold below 1GHz. Operators will, it said, be restricted to having no more than 2×35MHz across the 450MHz, 700MHz, 800MHz and 900MHz bands.

In a final Nkom-related development, the regulator has also announced the adoption of new fixed termination rates. With the charge currently limited to a maximum of NOK0.006 (USD0.0007) per minute, it has confirmed that from 1 July 2019 the cap will be reduced to NOK0.005, before a further reduction to NOK0.005 from 1 January 2021. The companies affected by this ruling are: Altibox, Broadnet, eRate, Ice, NextGenTel, Orange, Puzzel, Telenor, Telia and Verizon.