Dutch 2.6GHz auction: Ziggo/UPC & Tele2 top bidders

in News, 2.6GHz, Auction, spectrum, Tele2, UPC, Ziggo, LTE

April 27, 2010 - The joint venture of Ziggo and UPC, the Netherlands' largest cable operators and Tele2 were the top bidders in the Dutch auction of 2.6GHz spectrum. Ziggo/UPC paid a total EUR 1.09 million for 20-year licences of 2x20MHz in the 2510-2530 MHz band paired with the 2630-2650 MHz band.

Tele2 paid EUR 400,000 for 2x20MHz in the 2545-2565 MHz band paired with the 2665-2685 MHz band. Tele2 already operates a MVNO in the Netherlands, which had 383,000 customers at the end of March. The company is expected to roll out an LTE network. Gunther Vogelpoel, managing director for Tele2 Netherlands' consumer activities, told Telecompaper that the company is still working on its plans and could choose to roll out alone or with a partner.

The licences make it possible for the Ziggo and UPC to offer national mobile services. The two companies said in a joint statement that they plan to offer mobile data services bundled with their existing fixed offers, and will start working on plans for implementation of the new services. While both companies have previously operated MVNO services in the Netherlands, they stopped selling the mobile services around a year ago due to limited take-up.
According to figures from the radio frequencies regulator AT, KPN paid EUR 909,000 for 20MHz paired spectrum in the 2535-2545 MHz and 2655-2665 MHz bands, Vodafone Netherlands paid EUR 200,000 for 20MHz in the 2500-2510 MHz and 2620-2630 MHz bands and T-Mobile Netherlands paid EUR 109,000 for 10MHz in the 2530-2535 MHz and 2650-2655 MHz bands. Only paired spectrum was sold in the auction, and 69.7GHz of upaired spectrum was left on the shelf. Acknowledging this spectrum is more suitable for Wimax than LTE, the ministry for economic affairs said it would look at alternatives for licensing these remaining radio frequencies.

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