A fresh auction of mobile radio frequencies has netted Switzerland’s government 996 million Swiss Francs (€826 million), with Orange, Sunrise and Swisscom winning additional frequencies.
Regulator ComCom claims the sale will enable operators to meet growing demand for mobile broadband services and pave the way for LTE deployments. The sale ran from Feb 6 to Feb 22, and covered frequencies that are currently unused, and digital dividend spectrum due to be freed up in 2014 and 2017.
The regulator rejected a bid from In&Phone because it didn’t meet the admission criteria for the sale. The remaining three carriers were allowed to determine the frequency allocation themselves, in a move ComCom claims allows them to better match spectrum to their business models. The licenses, which run to 2028, are also technology neutral, meaning they can be used with existing services as well as future LTE deployments.
Incumbent carrier Swisscom won 42% of the frequencies available, and states the 360 million Swiss Francs it will pay for the spectrum is a “necessary economic and financial investment in the long-term future of the mobile network.”