ComReg to auction new wireless licences

21 Oct 2005

It emerged yesterday that the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) intends to auction new licences for the provision of wide band digital mobile data services.

The new licences were announced yesterday at Ireland’s Inaugural International Wireless Conference at the RDS by David Gunning, director of Market Framework at ComReg.

The authority yesterday published an information notice seeking applications for licences for the provision of wide band digital mobile data services in the 420MHz and 900MHz bands.

The proposed new wide band digital mobile data services will facilitate relatively high-speed wireless internet access and other data communications. Two of the licences will be in the 420MHz band and the third will be in the 900MHz band.

The regulator said if there is more than one application for any of the three licences on offer, then that licence will be auctioned.

It is understood applicants can only be awarded one licence each and that a reserve price of €100,000 has been placed on each of the licences.

ComReg said each licence duration is for 10 years with a review at the end of the third year to ensure compliance with rollout and minimum loading criteria commitments made as part of the process in order to prevent what it describes as “spectrum hoarding”.

To date ComReg has permitted licence exempt public wireless access services in the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands as well as licensing the 3.5GHz, 10.5GHz and 26GHz bands for fixed wireless access.

By John Kennedy