Norway’s National Communications Authority (Nasjonal kommunikasjonsmyndighet, Nkom) has announced that domestic telecoms service providers Telenor Norge, Telia Norge and ice, which acquired 700MHz licences at auction in June this year, were officially cleared to use the frequencies from 1 November 2019. In a press release the industry regulator noted that the move marks ‘an important step to facilitate better competition in the mobile market, good mobile coverage along important roads and trains, and early introduction of 5G in Norway’. To date, 700MHz band spectrum had been allocated for digital broadcasting, but the government paid out a total of NOK150 million (USD16.5 million) to free up the resource for mobile communications services.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in June 2019 Nkom announced the successful conclusion of the sale of spectrum in the 700MHz and 2100MHz bands, noting that the three incumbent mobile network operators each laid claim to a 2×10MHz block of spectrum in the 700MHz band, while ice also successfully bid for 2×15MHz in the 2100MHz band. The auction raised a total of NOK735.057 million for state coffers, Nkom said, broken down as NOK337.176 million (ice), NOK217.881 million (Telia) and NOK180.000 million (Telenor).
Furthermore, Nkom confirmed that it plans to allocate more spectrum to mobile communications in the coming years to accelerate the deployment of 5G services nationwide.