Poland to auction 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz bands

The President of the Office of Electronic Communications has announced auction for general exclusive frequency licences for 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz band to ensure nation-wide high-speed mobile Internet development.

The participants to the first auction of this type in Poland will compete for 5 general exclusive frequency licences in the 800 MHz band and for 14 general exclusive frequencies in the 2.6 GHz band.

The frequencies in the 1800 MHz band subject to the current auction are unique as they are limited resources with many participants that are potentially interested in their use.

Magdalena Gaj, president, Office of Electronic Communications said, “They are suitable to ensure the same type of Internet access, i.e. broadband, as offered by other frequencies, for example from the 1800 MHz band, but in totally different areas. These are the so-called coverage frequencies, which will cover large inaccessible areas of the country where the inhabitants currently have no access to high-speed Internet.”

“The results of the auction and the way in which the frequencies are going to be used will influence the quality of our life,” added Gaj.

At the same time for the first time in Poland, the authorities are dealing with auction for frequencies and both the selling party – the regulatory authority and the purchasing parties – telecommunications undertakings need to accustom to this method.

While drafting the final version of the documentation the President of UKE took account of the opinions submitted by telecommunications undertakings and industry chambers as well as opinions voiced during working meeting at UKE with representatives of the market. Those meetings also discussed the proposals submitted by some market players to develop a single LTE network.

The LTE standard enables 20 MHz of frequencies to be used simultaneously. In Poland we have in total 60 MHz in the 800 MHz band which may be used to develop the LTE network. Under these circumstances, in addition to standard roll-out of separate networks by each of the operators, it is also possible to build for example two nation-wide networks with 30 MHz each, which would allow not only offering consumers faster LTE Internet but also substantial savings on the part of operators.

“We need to look into the future. And the future is LTE Advanced, a technology which supports even faster data transmission and which is named the only real 4G. I trust that also in this aspect Poland will be among the leaders. I am convinced that there is still significant scope to increase network efficiency,” added Gaj.

The auction participants will be committed to commencing the use of the frequencies and to commercial launch of their services within 12 months of the date of delivery of the general exclusive frequency licence in the 800 MHz band and not later than within 36 months of the date of delivery of the general exclusive frequency licence in the 2.6 GHz band.

Moreover, the auction participants who receive general exclusive frequency licences in the 800 MHz band will be committed to covering with their own network at least 83-89 percent of the communes, listed by the President of UKE in the appendices 5A, 5B, 5C, 5D and 5E to auction documentation, using the granted frequencies, within 24 months.

Each appendix specifies separately for each frequency block a list of communes in the area of which the current range of mobile networks offering data transmission services is not satisfactory (i.e. below 80 percent of the commune area). In total there are 1,242 such communes in Poland (each appendix covers 248 communes on average) and only several have more than 20,000 inhabitants.

In appendix 6 (the same appendix for each general exclusive frequency licence) the President of UKE listed the communes to be covered by the winners of the auction for frequencies in the 800 MHz band with their own network (90 percent of the listed communes) within 36 months of the date of delivery of the general exclusive frequency licences. The communes listed in Appendix 6 are those with the population up to 30,000 inhabitants (without the communes listed in Appendices from 5A to 5E). There are 1053 such communes in Poland.

Appendix 7 (the same appendix for each general exclusive frequency licence) lists the communes to be covered by the winners of the auction for frequencies in the 800 MHz band with their own network (90 percent of the listed communes) within 48 months of the date of delivery of the general exclusive frequency licences. The communes listed in Appendix 7 are those with the population from 30,000 up to 50,000 inhabitants. There are 91 such communes in Poland.

The President of UKE encourages all entities interested in obtaining resources that are key for mobile LTE Internet development in the form of frequencies in the 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz bands to participate in the auction and to read the auction documentation published.

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