UKE plans to auction 800MHz spectrum after interest from three cellcos

26 Sep 2019

Poland’s Office of Electronic Communications (Urzad Komunikacji Elektronicznej, UKE) has rejected three offers for spare spectrum in the 800MHz band and says it now intends to allocate the frequencies by auction next year. The frequencies in the sought-after 800MHz range became available when a licence held by fixed-wireless operator Sferia expired in 2018.

A report from Telko.in says that local cellcos Orange, T-Mobile and Play (P4) have all expressed an interest in acquiring the 2×5MHz block of spare spectrum to add to their existing holdings in that band, which they bought at auction in 2015. UKE says, however, that since demand outstrips supply then it will have to proceed with a competitive auction.

The matter is complicated by the fact that Sferia has mounted a legal challenge against the cancellation of its licence after the firm refused to pay a fee of PLN1.73 billion (USD432 million) to renew the concession last year. This raises some uncertainty as to the future of the spectrum should Sferia win its appeal.