Italian operators bid €3.9B for LTE spectrum, double the reserve price

Italian operators expressed their keenness to gain LTE spectrum by bidding a total of €3.9 billion, double the reserve placed on the frequencies by the Italian telecoms regulator.

The auction was for new frequencies in the 800MHz, 1800MHz and 2.6GHz bands which respectively become available by the end of 2013, 2011 and 2102.

Vodafone was successful in bidding €1.26 billion for a total of 60MHz in the three bands available, which will help the company build on its data revenues that grew over 20 per cent in the last financial year.

Telecom Italia also acquired frequencies in the three bands, also paying a total €1.26 billion, while 3 Italia declined to bid for the expensive 800MHz band, instead purchasing licences in the other two bands for a total of €305 million.

Wind bought two frequency blocks at 800MHz for €977 million, and paid €142 million acquiring four lots of the FDD spectrum in the 2.6GHz band. However, it was outbid by 3 Italia for a third band at 1800MHz.

The Italian regulator said that operators will have until Oct. 4 to bid for the remaining TDD block in the 2GHz band.

For more:
- see this Telecom Paper article (sub. req.)
- see this Dow Jones Newswire article
- see this Mobile Europe article

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