Early indications of 4G license auctions in Europe show that operators aren't willing to pay any price for licenses like they did in the 3G realm when many operators wrote off their heavy investments.
Of course, spectrum in the 2.6 GHz band is what has been auctioned so far, and indications are that operators favor Digital Dividend spectrum in the 800 MHz band because of the propagation advantages below 1 GHz. Austria, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and the Netherlands have concluded 2.6 GHz auctions. Varied market conditions, however, have not given the market a clear sense of the pricing levels for these licenses. Austria's licenses, for instance, came in below expectations likely because of stringent rollout conditions.
Telekom Austria, Hutchison 3, T-Mobile and Orange collectively paid $54.3 million in Austria's auction. The price level was similar to what Germany brought in and four times lower than in Denmark.
- see this 4G Trends article
Swedish 2.6GHz auction prices will act as guide to others
UK mobile broadband auctions delayed
Vodafone Germany tests LTE in digital dividend spectrum