German regulator pushes early spectrum auction

25 June 2013 |


Germany’s telecommunications regulator is looking to auction 900MHz and 1800MHz mobile frequencies almost three years before existing licences expire at the end of 2016.

In a document published yesterday, the regulator said it was looking to start the auction in 2014, in a bid to address the growing demand for wireless services.

The German regulator also announced plans to introduce 700MHz spectrum to the auction.

All four operators argued against the proposal under claims that more financial investment was needed for the roll-out of superfast 4G LTE networks.

Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone Germany, KPN and Telefónica Deutschland had asked the regulator for an extension on their 900MHz and 1800MHz licences until at least 2018.

An early auction could put pressure on the finances of smaller operators such as KPN and Telefónica Deutschland, according to reports.

“An early auction would mean a cash drain for the operators, who are in the middle of some heavy investments in the rollout of an LTE network,” said an unidentified fund manager with shares in all four operators.

The operators have until October to submit official responses to the regulators plans and a final decision is expected early next year.

In attempt to battle the turbulent European mobile market, Deutsche Telekom revised its pricing plan in April this year, and Vodafone Germany announced plans to cut 500 jobs in the country.