Germany’s telecoms regulator Bundesnetzagentur will auction radio spectrum in the 700 MHz band in May and June this year, and will also re-auction frequencies in the 900 MHz and 1.8 GHz part of the spectrum, where licences will expire in 2016.
The auction could bring in as much as €4.5 billion, according to Reuters, who quoted Heike Pauls, a telecoms analyst at Commerzbank, as predicting that Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone would spend €1.6 billion each, and Telefonica Deutschland – which operates under the O2 brand – around €1.3 billion.
This is the first time a country in Europe is putting 700 MHz up for sale, said the report. France could be second as it has plans for an auction later in the year.
In 2013, Bundesnetzagentur decided it would go ahead with an early auction even though cash-strapped operators in the country, Europe’s biggest mobile market, were against the move because they wanted to invest in 4G roll-out.
The decision to go ahead with the auction may have been one of the reasons for the acquisition of E-Plus by Telefonica Deutschland.