KPN, Vodafone, T-Mobile and Tele2 bid €3.8B in Dutch LTE auction

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The Dutch government will receive a huge windfall following the auction of LTE spectrum, which raised €3.8 billion, significantly more than had been expected. KPN, Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile all won licences, as did new entrant Tele2 of Sweden.

After winning the spectrum, KPN announced that it would not pay a final dividend compared with a previous plan for €0.35 a share. The reason for this move is that KPN paid €1.35 billion to acquire its new LTE spectrum, according to Bloomberg.

The Dutch government had expected to receive €480 million from the auction. The massive haul from the auction will be welcome considering recent austerity measures and budget cuts amounting to 46 billion by 2017.

The bidding process closed after running for seven weeks and involved KPN, Vodafone, T-Mobile, Tele2 and a joint venture by cable operators UPC and Ziggo. According to Reuters, he cable companies said they made a joint bid but later pulled out of the auction later because the bidding went too high.

At stake was 41 separate spectrum licences for frequencies within the 800 MHz, 900 MHz and 1800 MHz bands, which the Dutch state telecoms agency said was the biggest auction in the country's history. 

Vodafone paid
1.38 billion for nine licences, KPN paid 1.35 billion for 15 separate licences, while T-Mobile spent 911 million on 15 licences and Tele2 paid 161 million and won two licences.

The new LTE new licences will run until 2030. Operators that gained licences to use the 2.6 GHz band for LTE have already deployed networks to fulfill the licence requirements.

For more:
- see this Reuters article
- see this AP article
- see this Bloomberg article

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