Telenor, TeliaSonera win 1800 MHz spectrum in Norway

Telenor and TeliaSonera won additional frequencies in the 1800 MHz band in Norway following the completion of an auction that raised almost NOK878 million (€95 million/$103 million).

According to a statement by the Norwegian Post and Telecommunications Authority (Nkom), Telenor won 2 x 10 MHz for just over NOK585 million, while TeliaSonera Norge won 2 x 5 MHz for almost NOK293 million. Ice Communication Norge -- which was previously known as Telco Data -- also took part in the auction but failed to pick up any frequencies.

Nkom noted that 2 x 15 MHz was up for sale in the auction, which commenced on Nov. 25 and ended after seven days and 83 bidding rounds. The frequencies are the unsold lots from the multi-band auction in December 2013.

The auction of the three available blocks in the 1800 MHz band was originally scheduled for January 2015, but Nkom delayed the process period until the acquisition of Tele2 Norway by TeliaSonera had been approved.

The Norwegian Competition Authority (NCA) eventually approved that deal in February this year. Since then, Ice has relaunched Network Norway under the brand and has also started to sell mobile communications services to residential customers as well as business users.

TeliaSonera also recently said that the merger of its Norwegian operations with Tele2 Norway could be judged a success, with almost 300,000 former Tele2 customers electing to become subscribers of its NetCom brand in six months. The Tele2 brand was officially removed from the market on Nov. 20 -- ahead of the original plan to shut down the brand at the end of the year.

Tele2 decided to sell its Norwegian unit after it failed to get its hands on any new spectrum resources during the 4G auction in 2013. At the time, TeliaSonera, Telenor and Telco Data all won blocks in the 800 MHz, 900 MHz and 1800 MHz frequency bands. Tele2 was forced to the conclusion that it would be unable to compete effectively in the data-driven Norwegian market.

In a separate report, Reuters said this week that TeliaSonera had submitted a proposal to Latvian authorities on combining LMT and Lattelecom. The Swedish-based operator owns 60.3 per cent in Latvian mobile operator LMT and 49 per cent in fixed operator Lattelecom.

For more:
- see the Nkom statement
- see this Reuters article

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