FICORA to sharpen 800 MHz spectrum auction rules

Published 05.09.2013

The spectrum auction started in January this year has now lasted for about eight months. In order to conclude the auction, the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority (FICORA) is planning to specify the regulation regarding the spectrum auction. FICORA will interrupt the auction for the duration of the specification of the auction regulation and the inevitable technical maintenance of the spectrum auction software.

The grounds for specifying the spectrum auction rules are that the auction has lasted for an unreasonable period of time, and that the bids were practically not raised as required by the law.

In the 800 MHz auction, the bidders have been able to switch their bids from a paired frequency block to another so that every now and then the bids are reverted to the starting bid. Since the competition over the paired frequency blocks is tough, the rule has created a sort of an endless circle.

The rule in question was included in the 2.5 GHz spectrum auction in 2009, but no such situation was created then, and the auction was concluded in about a week. The auction rules for the 800 MHz auction were kept the same as in 2009, in other words in line with the guidelines laid down by the government.

"The auction has been going on for an unnecessary long time. In FICORA's view, we must take measures to conclude it," asserts FICORA Director-General Asta Sihvonen-Punkka. "If the auction kept going for another month or more, there would be a delay in the deployment of faster, wireless connections. "

Considering the current circumstances, FICORA will specify the auction regulation. The specification of the regulation means that it would no longer be possible to revert to the starting bid, but the bidding rounds would be based on bid increments.

The auction will be interrupted on 19 September 2013 after the consultation regarding the specifications made to the regulation has been concluded. The auction will be resumed with modified rules after a one-month break.

Both the Ministry of Transport and Communications and FICORA will inform of the conclusion of the auction in due time. The objective is to deploy 4G connections in the 800 MHz band in early 2014.

Further information:

Asta Sihvonen-Punkka, Director, tel. +358 295 390 400
Jarno Ilme, Director, tel. +358 295 390 574

Key words: Internet , Spectrum , Mobile phones , News

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