Slovakia spectrum auction ushers in new entrant

Four companies won spectrum in Slovakia's auction of frequencies in the 800 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2.6 GHz bands, meaning that the market is to gain a new mobile operator in the form of Swan, which already provides fixed telecoms services across the country.

The Slovakian telecoms regulator said the three existing mobile operators Orange Slovakia, Slovak Telekom, Telefónica Slovakia and Swan were all allocated frequency blocks, and will pay a total €163.9 million ($222 million) for the frequencies.

"We are pleasantly surprised by the entry of the fourth operator, which should result into the fast introduction of new technology and cost-effective services for customers," the regulator's acting chairman, Ladislav Mikus, said in a statement.

Indeed, spectrum auctions are not always successful in bringing in new entrants to compete with existing players on the LTE market. Slovakia's neighbour the Czech Republic recently failed to attract a fourth entrant after its protracted auction process last year.

Both Slovak Telekom and Telefónica Slovakia already market LTE services to consumers and all three existing operators are building up their mobile data offerings with data sharing, smartphone and mobile broadband plans on offer.

Slovenia and Poland are two other markets in Eastern Europe that recently announced their spectrum auctions to support new LTE services.

For more:
- see this Slovak regulator release (translated via Google Translate)
- see this Reuters article

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