Tele2, which surprisingly failed to win any frequencies in Norway’s recent 4G spectrum auction, is reportedly in talks with the firm that elbowed it out of the bidding.
According to Reuters, Tele2, the third-largest mobile operator in Norway, is in discussions with Access Industries about how it might revive its 4G ambitions in the country.
Access Industries, founded by billionaire businessman Leonard Blavatnik, is behind Telco Data.
A new entrant, Telco Data bagged spectrum at 800MHz (2x10MHz), 900MHz (2x5MHz) and 1.8GHz (2x20MHz) in the multi-band auction.
Options under consideration, according to Reuters’ sources, include Access selling or licensing spectrum to Tele2.
Another potential option is Access buying Tele2’s operation in Norway.
Sources add, however, that Access would only sell spectrum to Tele2 on condition that it also buys ice.net.
A niche operator owned by Access, ice.net uses CDMA2000 3G technology running on 450MHz and 410MHz frequency bands. It has around 100,000 subscribers.
Tele2, after missing out in the December auction, said it might bid for frequencies still unassigned in the 1.8GHz band in an upcoming auction. Although that’s another potential 4G route for the operator, it is unclear when the government would start such an auction.
Access is also believed to looking at renting 4G capacity to local broadband companies interested in offering mobile services.
Moreover, according to Reuters’ sources, Access is speaking to Norway’s biggest operators – Telenor and TeliaSonera – about potential network-sharing deals
Bengt Nordstrom, CEO of Northstream, a technology consultancy, told Mobile World Live at the time of the auction result that Telco Data would have its work cut out without external help.
“It’s almost mission impossible to make such a business case fly without cooperation of existing mobile operators,” he said.