Germany’s Federal Network Agency (BNA) has officially published a document saying it wants to start an early auction of ‘2G’ frequencies and also put 700MHz spectrum, currently used by radio and TV broadcasters, under the hammer.

According to the document, reported by Reuters, Germany’s regulator wants to start the auction of 900MHz and 1800MHz frequencies – scheduled to expire at the end of 2016 – from 2014.

The agency’s move is confirmation of a previous report by German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

Analysts quoted by both Bloomberg and Reuters point out that an early spectrum auction would put extra balance-sheet strain on the country’s mobile network operators (MNOs), which splashed out €4.4 billion on wireless frequencies in an auction completed in May 2010.

“A 2014 date would increase the pressure on operators,” Hannes Wittig, a JPMorgan analyst told Bloomberg. “Investors would probably worry most about the financial impact on Telefonica Germany and KPN.”

Wittig added that the bringing forward of an auction might hasten discussions regarding a potential merger of the two smaller carriers (KPN-owned E-Plus and Telefonica Germany).

“An early auction would mean a cash drain for the operators, who are in the middle of some heavy investments in the rollout of a LTE network,” an unnamed fund manager, who holds shares in all four German MNOs, told Reuters.

He speculated that network sharing, particularly between KPN and Telefonica, might quickly rise up the corporate agendas of both in order to trim costs.

KPN and Telefonica have held talks about a merger of their German operations in 2012, as well as discussed network sharing to reduce costs. However, Markus Haas, Telefonica Germany’s chief strategy officer, told Reuters that no talks were currently being held.

The early auction will not be welcomed either by the country’s biggest MNOs, Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone Germany. Along with KPN and Telefonica Germany, they had asked the regulator for an extension of their 900MHz and 1800MHz licences until 2018 or later.

Operators, reports Reuters, have until October to submit their opinion about BNA’s plans. A final decision is scheduled for early next year.