Austria to hold radio frequency auction

Austria to hold radio frequency auction

The Austrian Telecom Control Commission (TKK) has announced it will hold an auction for the sale of radio frequencies in September this year.

The regulator expects to raise a minimum of €526 million from the sale of 28 blocks of 800MHz, 900MHz and 1800MHz frequencies.

Georg Serentschy, head of the Austrian Regulatory Authority for Broadcasting and Telecommunications (RTR), working with TKK, said there was no upper limit to the bids.

A mobile auction in the Czech Republic was cancelled earlier this month due to “excessive” bidding and Serentschy has claimed that the Austrian auction is “not about maximising the proceeds”.

The Austrian auction is said to be the biggest to date in the country, and the frequencies on sale are designed to enable operators to build superfast mobile broadband networks.

The regulator will attach conditions to the licences dictating how much of the population the operators must reach, in a bid to promote better mobile coverage in remote areas of the country.

Two blocks of spectrum have reportedly already been reserved for a potential new entrant to the market, but this has come up against some scepticism from market watchers.

"We have really passed the stage where there is room for a new entrant," Bengt Nordstrom, co-founder and chief executive at consultancy firm, Northstream, told Reuters.

"I know that the regulators and the competition authorities would like to have it but it's unrealistic."