Can Runaway Spectrum Prices Stimulate New Business Models?

Thai Spectrum AuctionEvery once in a while a spectrum auction brings big and interesting surprises. The last example is the 900 MHz Thai auction concluded last week which raised close to THB152 billion ($4.2 billion) for the right to use two licenses of 2×10 MHz. This is over 6x the reserve price THB12.8 billion per license, and one of the most expensive in the world. To put this into another perspective, the auction of 1800 MHz spectrum concluded last month in mid November raised to total of THB80.8 billion ($2.25 billion) for two licenses of 2×15 MHz. That’s 2.8x lower than the 900 MHz band on per MHz-PoP basis. Read more of this post

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700 MHz German Spectrum Auction Overview

The German 700 MHz auction concluded with a price tag of a billion Euro:

700 MHz Auction Results.

700 MHz Auction Results.

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Review of the Multi-Frequency Irish and Dutch Spectrum Auctions

Ireland / Netherlands Spectrum AuctionsThe Irish multi-frequency spectrum auction concluded on November 15th raising a respectable 854€ million ($1.1 billion) from four bidders on licenses for 280 MHz in the 800, 900, and 1800 MHz bands. Earlier this month, on December 14th, the Dutch multi-frequency auction of about 360 MHz netted the regulator over 3.8€ billion ($4.97 billion).

Both regulators did not report the price paid on a per-band/license basis. But on average, the Irish spectrum is priced at about 0.48 euro-cent per MHz-PoP (0.61₵), while the Dutch auction is priced at 0.63 euro-cent per MHz-PoP (0.83₵). Read more of this post

Summary of Select Spectrum Auction Results

Spectrum AuctionsBelow is a summary of spectrum auctions completed this year that I did not report on.  Some of these auctions are particularly interesting. For example, the 2.3 GHz band auction in Hong Kong follows a failed attempt to auction this band in early 2009. At that time, the hype around WiMAX was subsiding as interest in LTE was gathering strength. Now, three companies won the 90 MHz band for about $61m. One of the winners told me of their plan to use the band for LTE services, although this would be TD-LTE. No indication as to when it will happen. Read more of this post