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TKK launches multiband auction 2013: enhancing broadband coverage in rural areas

The Telekom-Control-Commission (TKK) will publish the invitation to tender for frequencies in the 800 MHz, 900 MHz und 1800 MHz bands in the official gazette Amtsblatt zur Wiener Zeitung tomorrow. The multiband auction, in the course of which 28 2x5 MHz frequency blocks will be assigned, will take place in September 2013.

Facilitating access for a new entrant

In the context of the assignment procedure, the TKK pursues a number of objectives, as can be seen from the assignment criteria and requirements of the tender documentation. Fresh impetus is to be given to competition in Austria by reserving part of the available spectrum (two frequency packages in the 800 MHz band) for a new entrant and specifying the tender requirements in a way that provides facilitated access to the market for a new operator. The new entrant will also have the option of accessing existing sites, acquiring spectrum in the 2.6 GHz band and using the national roaming structure. This package offered to new entrants has been put together by the TKK in close cooperation with the European Commission.
Furthermore, increased broadband coverage in rural areas and rapid exploitation of the 800 MHz spectrum will enhance broadband coverage throughout Austria. Other objectives of the frequency allocation include establishing legal certainty and ensuring that investments are secure by various means, including re-structuring and re-allocating the GSM frequencies. This will also provide the basis for using new technologies in the GSM bands (refarming).

The minimum bids for the auction were set by the TKK using national and international benchmarks and are fully compliant with legal requirements. The minimum bid set by the TKK will be towards the lower end of the estimated market price of the frequencies. The total of all minimum bids amounts to some EUR 526 million, with EUR 45.6 million accounting for the spectrum reserved for a new entrant. The TKK’s primary aim in setting the minimum bids in accordance with their actual market values is to prevent collusive behaviour and misuse of the reserved spectrum.

TKK provides operators with six months’ preparation time

The multiband auction is the biggest frequency allocation procedure ever conducted in Austria. Potential participants have to elaborate and assess a great number of scenarios to be able to evaluate the economic value of the frequencies for their businesses, set up teams of experts and develop an auction strategy. The TKK has therefore allowed for half a year of preparation time for the operators.

Selected auction format: combinatorial clock auction

The frequency auction scheduled for September will be carried out in the form of a combinatorial clock auction (CCA). This auction format is optimally suited to meet the requirements posed by the multiband auction and was used previously in Austria in the assignment procedure for the 2.6 GHz frequencies as well as in other European countries in comparable multiband auctions, e.g. in the Netherlands, Switzerland, Denmark, Ireland and Great Britain. Canada and Australia also plan to use this auction format in the near future.

Please find more detailed information, together with the tender documentation and the auction rules on RTR’s website at: