Finnish government is to arrange auction for 4G mobile network licences
Minister says communications policy will climb to a new level
The Finnish government resolved on Thursday to arrange an auction for licences for the 800 megahertz frequency band needed to operate fourth-generation (4G) mobile telephone networks.
The planned auction will bring about EUR 100 million into the state coffers.
According to the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the auction will expand Finns’ access to wireless broadband services, particularly in remote areas.
In addition, the ministry believes that the auction will speed up the introduction of a nationwide mobile communications network based on broadband technology.
Telecommunications operators will be provided with a frequency band which will make it possible to offer mobile consumers a data transfer speed of 26 Mbits/second.
On an average, the data transfer speed corresponds to the regular broadband subscriptions currently sold to Finnish homes.
”I venture to say that this is my most significant decision as Communications Minister. As almost all Finns will soon have access to the 26 Mbit wireless internet services, it will take Finland’s communications policy to a completely new level in electronic services as well as in industrial life”, says Minister of Housing and Communications Krista Kiuru (Social Democrats).
Finland’s largest telecommunications operator Elisa has opposed the govenment’s intention to increase its revenue by arranging this auction.
In the auction, frequency bands will be sold in pairs of 5 MHz each. In total, a maximum of 60 MHz will be sold.
Theoretically speaking, six telecommunications operators would be capable to buy such frequency pairs.
In order to get
the maximum technical benefit from the frequency pairs available in the auction, a telecommunications operator should buy three frequency pairs. For this reason, it is possible and even likely that the auction will become a competition between the two largest operators, Elisa and Telia-Sonera.
In Finland, with the exception of a trial auction in 2009, licences for telecommunications have usually been granted to applicants with the best prerequisites for meeting the conditions included in the licences, such as for example geographic coverage.
The practice has been called a ”beauty contest”.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Auction for 4G mobile network licences to start next week (13.11.2009)
Ministry of Transport and Communications