Germany Starts 4G Spectrum Usage Consultation
Bundesnetzagentur, German communications regulator, launched a consultation on the future use of spectrum allocated at its 4G auction in 2010. The consultations take place ahead of licences for the frequencies entering their last five years of validity.
The regulator said in its Frequency Compass 2020 document, it wanted to ensure there was not a standstill in network expansion caused by licences allocated in 2010 for blocks in the 800MHz, 1800MHz and 2.6GHz bands expiring at the end of 2025. It added addressing the issue early should ensure holders were given the greatest level of legal security to allow future planning. The initial consultation closes on 23 October with interested parties invited to submit comments on future use of the frequencies.
To make its final decision on the fate of the assets the regulator will assess comments, interests of third parties, and rules set out in the country’s upcoming amended telecommunications act. “Mobile communications are developing dynamically and suitable frequencies are a crucial resource for further development. We are therefore starting to clarify questions about the provision of frequencies for mobile communications from 2026 onwards. We also keep an eye on the interests of other user groups,” said Jochen Homann, Bundesnetzagentur president.
Between Vodafone Germany, Telefonica Deutschland, Deutsche Telekom and the now defunct E-Plus, operators spent a total of €4.4 billion in the 2010 spectrum auction. Five years later operators splashed a further €5 billion on new allocations as 4G build-out continued. Licences for these blocks expire at the end of 2033.