Highest bidders will be awarded 4G wireless spectrum – ComReg

25 Aug 2011

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Telecoms firms have complained that lack of information to date about the proposed auctions have held up investment decisions by their parent companies.

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Ireland’s telecoms regulator ComReg has finally published a draft decision on the proposed auction of the 800MHz, 900MHz and 1800MHz spectrum bands that will be vital for next generation broadband and 4G mobile services like Long Term Evolution.

While it hasn’t yet published a date for the auction as a final decision won’t be expected until later in the Autumn, it said the action would assign spectrum rights across these three bands for the period 2013 to 2030.

ComReg said that 28 blocks of spectrum are to be made available in total, with each block comprising 2 x 5MHz of spectrum.

The blocks of spectrum will be awarded to firms that make the highest bids.

There will be two auction phases – the first to determine the amount of spectrum a bidder has won rights to and the second to determine the location in the spectrum band.

Auctions will be vital to investment decisions around Next Generation Broadband

ComReg said there will be a competition cap on what any bidder can win of up to 10 blocks of spectrum, with a maximum of four blocks below 1000MHz.

Telecoms firms have complained that lack of information to date about the proposed auctions have held up investment decisions by their parent companies.

ComReg says the auction will now enable the telcos to pitch to their parent companies and win the necessary investment in order to usher in a new era of advanced wireless services.

The 800MHz and 900MHz spectrum bands in particular are seen as vital for enabling 100pc broadband connectivity across the country as well as higher quality reception inside buildings.

ComReg has called for written comments from interested parties to be sent in by 5pm 30 September, after which it will publish its final decision.

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com