Orange, T-Mobile among 6 operators seeking Polish LTE spectrum

Orange and Deutsche Telekom's respective Polish subsidiaries are among six operators bidding for fresh LTE spectrum in the 800 MHz and 2600 MHz bands, the country's regulator revealed.

The Office of Electronic Communications (UKE) said it received preliminary bids for the additional spectrum from Orange Poland, T-Mobile Poland, P4, Polkomtel, Hubb Investments, and NetNet by Nov. 24--the deadline for submissions.

UKE is auctioning off spectrum in 19 bands for use in mobile and fixed networks. Terms of the auction mean interested parties are only allowed to bid for two lots of 800 MHz spectrum, and up to four lots in the 2600 MHz band. Licences won under the process will be valid for 15 years. The regulator has set a minimum price of PLN250 million (€59.8 million/$74.5 million) on each lot of 800 MHz spectrum, and PLN25 million for the 2600 MHz spectrum, Telegeography reports.

The Polish regulator started the process of selling the additional LTE-compatible spectrum in January. However, the process collapsed amid arguments over the rules of the sale. The fresh auction, which was announced in mid-October, looks likely to also face hurdles. A former Polish interior minister even went so far as to call for the 800 MHz portion of the sale to be halted to allow for an investigation by the CBA--Poland's anti-corruption office--ZDNet reported.

Operators in the market have pressed ahead with their LTE developments in the meantime. Last week, Polkomtel subsidiary brand Plus revealed it had successfully completed tests of LTE Advanced technology in conjunction with Ericsson, achieving data rates of up to 300 Mbps in the 1800 MHz and 2600 MHz bands by using carrier aggregation technology.

Plus has previously completed tests of LTE Broadcast using eMBMS technology and voice over LTE (VoLTE).

Orange Poland, Play and T-Mobile Poland each also provide LTE services in the country. The additional spectrum on sale in the current auction is tipped to boost the operators' current LTE rollout plans.

For more:
- see the UKE statement [in Polish]
- view this Telegeography report
- read this ZDNet article

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