Norway awards 5G licences

The Norwegian Communications Authority (Nkom) awarded 20-year licences for the spectrum in the 700 MHz and 2.1 GHz bands to three operators: Ice, Telia and Telenor. The auction last only from 3 to 5 June. Its total proceeds amount to NOK 735.057 million.

The 700 MHz band, which is currently used by DVB-T in Norway, will be available for use for mobile broadband from 1 November. The government decided on the release of the band used for TV networks for the use for mobile broadband (second digital dividend) back in 2015.

In addition, 2 x 15 MHz in the 2.1 GHz band was provided in the auction. The auction was conducted as an open, multi-round auction and went on for 19 rounds. Ice Communication Norge (Ice), Telia Norge (Telia) and Telenor Norge (Telenor) participated in the auction.

In the auction, Ice won 2 x 10 MHz in the 700 MHz band and 2 x 15 MHz in the 2.1 GHz band. Telia and Telenor won 2 x 10 each in the 700 MHz band.

Telia acquired the lot in the 700 MHz band with coverage obligation for certain railway sections. Telenor acquired the lot with coverage obligation for highways. No bidder committed to cover main roads.

Ice’s total auction price is NOK 337.176 million, while Telia is to pay NOK 217.881 million and Telenor is to pay NOK 180 million.

Winners can postpone payment of parts of their auction price for up to two years. In return they are required to invest a minimum of NOK 250 million in new and improved coverage over the next two years. The option for winners to pay the auction price in instalments is new and the main objective is to improve coverage in areas with poor coverage.

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