The Spanish Industry Ministry announced that Telefónica, France Telecom (FT) Orange and Vodafone will pay a total of €1.65 billion to acquire LTE spectrum. The three companies dominated Spain's second LTE spectrum auction to the extent that eight other bidders failed to acquire any frequency bands.
The Ministry is claiming the auction a success having exceeded its income target, but less than the €2 billion it had originally set in April this year.
Telefónica confirmed that it had made winning bids for five frequency blocks that would cost the company €668.3 million with licences that would run until 2030. The bands acquired were in the 800MHz, 900MHz and 2.6GHz spectrum.
Vodafone was successful in bidding for 60MHz of spectrum in the 800MHz and 2.6GHz bands, for which it will pay €518 million. However, its 800MHz allocation will not become available until after Spain's digital switchover in 2014. The company is being allowed by the local telecoms regulator to refarm spectrum in the 900MHz band currently used for 2G services to offer 3G services.
Details concerning bids made by FT Orange have not been made public at this stage.
This is Spain's second auction for LTE spectrum, with FT Orange and Sweden's TeliaSonera winning the first one earlier this year at a total cost of €168 million. The government says that it intends to use the auction proceeds to reduce the country's budget deficient to 6 per cent of GDP this year, down from 9.2 per cent last year
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