The Netherlands' spectrum regulator Agentschap Telecom (AT) says the forthcoming multi-band spectrum auction has gained interest from five unnamed parties.
The licences, which will run for 17 years, will likely see active bidding from the three incumbents--KPN Mobile, Vodafone Netherlands and Deutsche Telekom's local T-Mobile, according to Telegeography.
However, the Dutch telecoms regulator OPTA has stated that it will reserve three spectrum blocks (two in the 800 MHz band and one in the 900 MHz) for new entrants in an attempt to spark more competition in the domestic market.
Companies thought to be interested include Sweden's Tele2--which already has an MVNO operation in the Netherlands, and local cable operators Ziggo and UPC. Both these local operators acquired spectrum last year, with UPC launching a LTE service in the 2.6 GHz band for B2B customers.
The bands being auctioned, reports Telegeography, include 800MHz, 900MHz, 1.8GHz, 1.9 GHz, 2.1 GHz and 2.6 GHz, with further details being available on the AT website.
Separately, the Dutch Economic Ministry has stated that the existing licences for GSM 900 MHz and GSM 1800 MHz 2G services are set to expire at the end of February 2013 and cannot be extended.
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