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The Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority (FICORA) has issued four licences enabling operators to test mobile networks in the 800 MHz band. The licences were granted in June and came into effect at the beginning of July.
UK communications minister Ed Vaizey and Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards have appeared before a parliamentary select committee investigating spectrum. The minister denied that his portfolio was too broad and both defended plans for upcoming auctions.
NBN Co, the company responsible for Australia's National Broadband Network, has emerged as the biggest winner in the country's 2.3 GHz spectrum auction.
Greek plans to auction 900 MHz frequencies held by two of the country's mobile operators “will undermine the future of the mobile industry,” according to Nassos Zarkalis, chairman and chief executive of WIND Hellas.
French telecoms operator Bouygues has complained to the country's highest court, the Conseil d'Etat, about the government's plans to auction licences to use spectrum suitable for 4G services.
Swedish regulator the Post and Telecom Agency (PTS) has invited operators to take part in an auction of frequencies in the 1800 MHz band. The deadline for submitting applications and bank guarantees is 2 September 2011.
Bidding in the Spanish spectrum auction has now begun, with €900 million of bids placed on the first day – 38 per cent below the minimum amount the government expects to raise from the entire process.
Two of Korea’s three mobile operators launched LTE services as PolicyTracker went to press (July 1), while regulator the Korean Communications Commission (KCC) is gearing up for the country’s first spectrum auction – 60 MHz in three bands, with previous licences having been issued via beauty contest.
Everything Everywhere is likely to launch LTE in the UK using its existing 1800 MHz spectrum before other operators have a chance to acquire suitable spectrum at auction, say the chief executives of Vodafone UK and Telefónica O2 UK.
Mobile satellite spectrum can, and should, be used for LTE in areas outside the US, according to SFR chief frequency officer Thomas Welter. One satellite operator says it’s mulling opportunities for the 2.1 GHz band, but the head of the European Commission’s spectrum policy unit says mobile providers should use the spectrum they already have before seeking more.
The US and UK are targeting 500 MHz of new spectrum for mobile broadband over the next decade, in addition to that already identified. The Danish target is 600 MHz. The Australian regulator, however, is looking for 300 MHz, and believes new efficiencies and proper planning will also play a major role.
Spectrum trading may be a tricky subject but it could make a big difference to operators looking to meet demand for mobile broadband, says Kamal Shehadi, Etisalat Group's senior vice president for regulatory affairs. But one analyst says the idea is not likely to catch on in Middle Eastern countries.
On 16 June, the Latvian Public Utilities Commission (PUC) announced a renewed auction of 10-year usage rights to two 1.25 MHz channels in the 457.5‒460 MHz and 460–467.5 MHz bands with bids starting at 35,000 lats. This represents a sharp reduction from the figure of 200,000 lats set as the starting bid level at a failed auction in February.