TKK to allocate frequencies in 450 MHz range: Broadband services for regions with low coverage

Press release dated 20 December 2005

In its session on November 28, 2005, the Telekom-Control Commission (TKK) launched an allocation procedure for mobile communications frequencies in the 450 MHz range. The three frequency packages to be auctioned off are especially well suited for broadband service coverage in thinly populated areas. The minimum bids for the three packages amount to a total of EUR 350,000.00. "With the allocation of frequencies in the 450 MHz range, we plan to improve broadband coverage in thinly settled regions, or so-called dead spots," comments Georg Serentschy, RTR's Managing Director for the Telecommunications Division, on the goals of the procedure. "We have explicitly defined a number of municipalities which have to be covered within either 1½ or 3 years, thus making another contribution toward closing the digital divide."

Two-stage allocation procedure: Application review and auction

The allocation procedure will consist of two stages. Once all submitted applications have been reviewed for fulfillment of the prerequisites under the Austrian Telecommunications Act and tender requirements, a "first-price sealed bid" auction will follow in the second stage. In contrast to previous frequency auctions, bids for frequency packages will be submitted along with the applications, after which they can no longer be changed. "The frequencies will be allocated to that combination of bids which allocates each frequency package to no more than one bidder and which yields the highest total bid amount," Serentschy explains.

Existing GSM or UMTS operators will be able to acquire a maximum of one package, while other bidders will be allowed to acquire up to three. The frequency licenses will remain valid until the end of the year 2021, and the revenues from the auction will go to the Republic of Austria.

Schedule for procedures

Applications must be submitted by February 27, 2006, and the regulatory authority is expected to make a decision at the end of February 2006.

For more detailed information on the frequency allocation procedure, please visit RTR's web site at Frequency.