Five companies to compete for spectrum in the Netherlands

07 September 2012 | Kavit Majithia


Five companies will compete for mobile spectrum in the upcoming Dutch licence auction.

Due to begin on 31 October 2012, the auction is set to be highly competitive and generate incremental returns for the state.

The Netherlands’ spectrum regulator Agentschap Telecom (AT) confirmed five operators had submitted proposals to bid for licence spectrum, which will have a lifespan of 17 years.

AT will auction blocks of 800MHz, 900MHz, 1800Mz, 1900MHz, 2100MHz and 2600MHz bands, and the agency confirmed it will reserve authorisation for new market entrants to generate competition. The auction will be held over the internet, with the duration being judged on how long the bidding process takes.

The Dutch market is dominated by three incumbent operators, including KPN Mobile, Vodafone Netherlands and Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile unit.

According to reports, reserved licences could go to Swedish operator Tele2, which has MVNO operations in the country and local cablecos Ziggo and UPC. UPC launched a 4G mobile network based on LTE in May this year.

Groups interested in securing spectrum were expected to make their intentions clear by mid-April this year. 2G mobile licences in the country are set to expire by February 26 2013, but this deadline may be extended to allow operators more time to roll out networks from spectrum wins.