Norway’s National Communications Authority (Nasjonal kommunikasjonsmyndighet, Nkom) has announced that the sale of spectrum in the 700MHz and 2100MHz bands has come to a successful close just days after the process got underway. In a press release the regulator revealed that three companies secured new spectrum in the auction, those being the nation’s three incumbent mobile network operators – Telenor Norge, Telia Norge and ice. Telenor and Telia each laid claim to a 2×10MHz block of spectrum in the 700MHz band, while ice successfully bid for a 2×10MHz block in the 700MHz band and 2×15MHz in the 2100MHz band. In terms of the prices paid, with the auction raising a total of NOK735.057 million (USD84.5 million) for state coffers, the Nkom said that ice will pay a combined NOK337.176 million for its new frequencies. Meanwhile, Telia and Telenor will pay NOK217.881 million and NOK180.000 million, respectively.
In the latter part of the auction process, winning bidders were offered the option of obtaining a discount of up to NOK40 million for their spectrum in return for agreeing to certain coverage obligations. As a result, it has also been confirmed that Telia will be obliged to cover ‘selected railway lines’, while Telenor will be required to cover ‘European roads and the coastal road from Mo i Rana to Bodo’.
Commenting on the sale process, Nkom director Elisabeth Aarsaether was cited as saying: ‘The award is important to meet the objective to facilitate better competition in the mobile market, improved mobile coverage along main roads and railways, and early rollout of 5G in Norway.’