Italy raises €3.9 billion in spectrum auction
Italy has raised €3.9 billion in its auction of 4G radio frequencies, more than double the reserve price of € 1.7 billion for 240MHz of spectrum. Vodafone Italia acquired two blocks in the 800MHz band for a total € 992.4 million, as well as one block in the 1800MHz band for € 159.1 million. It also took three lots of FDD spectrum in the 2.6GHz band for € 36.06 million each. Vodafone said it will use the spectrum to launch LTE services, drawing on the experience of its sister company Vodafone Germany, which launched LTE at the end of 2010. Telecom Italia acquired two 800MHz blocks for a total € 992.2 million and one 1800MHz lot for € 159.0 million, plus three lots of FDD spectrum in the 2.6GHz band for a total € 109.1 million. Wind took two blocks in the 800MHz band for a total € 977.7 million, but missed out on the third block in the 1800MHz band, which went to 3 Italia for € 158.9 million. 3 Italia also took the two TDD blocks in the 2.6GHz band for € 74.0 million and two lots of FDD spectrum in the 2.6GHz band for € 72.4 million, giving it a total 60 MHz or 25% percent of all spectrum allocated. The operator said it will start LTE trials in the coming months. Wind also acquired four lots of the FDD spectrum in the 2.6GHz band, for a total € 142.2 million. The operators will gain access to the 1800MHz band by the end of this year, the 2.6GHz band by the end of 2012, and the 800MHz band at the start of 2013, after it’s vacated by broadcasters. The licences for both bands run until 2029.
Item added: 3rd October 2011