(TEF) Spain Holds Mobile Spectrum Auction

Spain has put its mobile telecom licenses on auction for the very first time. The Spanish government will raise roughly €1.45 billion ($2.05 billion) to control budget deficit.

Spain will auction 58 blocks with frequency bands of 800 megahertz (MHz), 900 MHz and 2.6 gigahertz (GHz). Each block of the 800 MHz band will be available for a minimum of €170 million, while 900 MHz and 2.6 GHz blocks will be priced at €169 million and €5 million, respectively. All the licenses are valid until 2030.

Eleven mobile operators are participating in the auction process and have placed their bids for the 270 MHz spectrum. Top contenders are Telefonica SA (TEF), Vodafone Group Plc (VOD) and France Telecom SA (FTE). The small Spanish telecom operators Jazztel and ONO are also bidders.

The fourth largest Spanish mobile operator Yoigo has refrained from participating in the auction as it recently obtained 1800 MHz licenses.

The demand for smartphones is currently on the rise, leading to a growing requirement for wireless data services. Given the surge in data traffic demand, we believe the carriers operating in Spain will try to make the most of this opportunity. Winning frequencies will aid operators to upgrade their wireless network, increase downloading speeds as well as expand their coverage to more consumers, particularly in rural and remote areas.

Further, the Spanish auction will ensure fair competition and prices for the services rendered. Moreover, the small operators would get access to more wavelengths for deployment of their wireless data services.

The auction is ongoing and will last for about a week.

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