Tele2 loses out in Norway auction

Norwegian mobile challenger Tele2 is reassuring customers about its quality of service, after failing to win any additional 3G and 4G spectrum in an auction.
The operator lost out to rivals TeliaSonera, Telenor, and unknown new entrant Telco Data in the sale of 800-Mhz, 900-MHz, and 1800-MHz spectrum, the first round of which closed Friday. Norway’s regulator, the Norwegian Post and Telecommunications Authority (NPT), is due to conclude the sale today, when it determines the specific frequency positions the three winners will use.
Tele2 chief executive, Arild Hustad, says business will continue as usual despite the miss. “Nothing changes for our customers. We still have the same mobile network as we had yesterday, and we will continue to be the challenger in Norway.”
The knowledge the firm gained from the auction process “will be valuable going forward,” and it will look to secure “resources in the 1800-MHz band,” Hustad adds, referring to three blocks of 2x5-MHz of 1800-MHZ spectrum that remain unallocated after the sale.
Terms of the auction require the winners to provide mobile broadband services with data rates of at least 2-Mbps to 40% of the population within four years of the licenses going live, which is scheduled to happen in January. TeliaSonera won an additional obligation to cover 98% of Norway’s population with mobile broadband services in the 800-MHz band within five years of the award.
The NPT will release details of the amount raised by the auction tomorrow.