Spectrum auction will be technology-neutral, states German regulator

The German telecoms regulator has announced that the second tranche of broadband wireless frequencies will have no restrictions on the use of particular technologies, but will no longer take place this year. The regulator claimed that the delay was due to the 'meticulous planning' required to prepare the auction--a move being interpreted as an attempt to avoid the outcry following Germany's first 3G auction in 2000 which drew criticism from cellcos because the amount of spectrum on offer was less than they wanted.

"The award of further spectrum for broadband is becoming ever more important in view of the number of regular UMTS users more than tripling between 2005 and 2007," said the president of Bundesnetzagentur (BNetzA), Matthias Kurth. "By drawing up the conditions of use flexibly to allow maximum technology and service neutrality we are enabling both potential new entrants and network operators that are already active in the market to meet the requirements of a dynamic market on a long-term basis. This will encourage a number of different business models."

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