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Nkom’s 5G spectrum auction concludes with four winning bidders

1 Oct 2021

Norway’s National Communications Authority (Nasjonal kommunikasjonsmyndighet, Nkom) has announced the conclusion of its 5G spectrum auction that got underway at the start of this week, confirming that four companies have walked away with new frequencies.

With the sale process raising a total of NOK3.89 billion (USD444 million), all three of the nation’s mobile network operators (MNOs) – Telenor Norge, Telia Norge and ice – laid claim to spectrum, with fibre-based fixed broadband provider Altibox rounding out the winning bidders. Telenor emerged as the biggest spender, offering NOK1.42 million for 2×40MHz in the 2.6GHz band (NOK416 million) and 120MHz in the 3.6GHz band (NOK1.00 billion). It will, however, only have to pay NOK1.22 million for its frequencies after accepting a voluntary commitment to provide downlink speeds of 100Mbps in underserved/unserved rural areas, which discounted the final price.

For its part, Telia Norge bid a total of NOK1.07 billion for 2×30MHz in the 2.6GHz band (NOK289 million) and 100MHz in the 3.6GHz band, though with it also accepting the voluntary coverage commitment, this reduced its final fee to NOK910 million. Rounding out the trio seeking a reduced payment in return for the coverage obligation, Altibox bid NOK53 million for a 50MHz block of TDD spectrum in the 2.6GHz band, and a further NOK781 million for 100MHz in the 3.6GHz band; after receiving its discount it will pay a total of NOK724 million. ice was the only provider not to take up the coverage commitment, agreeing to pay NOK554 million for an 80MHz block in the 3.6GHz band.

According to the Nkom, all winning bidders have a number of options for paying for their new 20-year concessions, including the choice of making payments for their new frequencies on an interest-free basis over a five-year period, or paying over a longer 20-year period, though doing so with a 6% interest charge applying.

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