Auction for 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz bands - UKE

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Auction for 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz bands


2013-12-30
photo UKE
The President of the Office of Electronic Communications announces auction for general exclusive frequency licences 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.

 

Polish consumers are specific against the background of European consumers. They are characterized by high willingness to use mobile Internet. These circumstances facilitated the launch of LTE in Poland which became a European pioneer in this area. Today - also thanks to an earlier tender for frequencies in the 1800 MHz band carried out by the President of UKE - the operators are already offering mobile Internet in the LTE technology. Until now the 1800 MHz band has been most intensively used for LTE purposes along with 2.6 GHz.

- 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, the President of the 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 President of UKE added.

Global forecasts for the telecommunications market with respect to mobile Internet access indicate that in 2018 devices like computers, tablets or routers with mobile Internet access will consume on average some 11 GB of data per month while smartphones some 2.5 GHz. For comparison, in 2012 an average smartphone used some 450 MB of data per month sent via mobile Internet, while a laptop or tablet - some 2.5 GB (data based on Ericsson Mobility Report). Similar trends in the global market are forecast by CISCO with respect to annual data transfer over the IP network estimated at 1.4 zettabytes in 2017 (1 zettabyte = one trilliard bytes or one billion gigabytes). The amount of growth itself will then note a 4-fold increase compared to the total estimated transmission volume for the whole mobile Internet in 2012.

The anticipated and currently visible trends in the ICT market cause that it is necessary to release additional frequency resources for the purposes of wireless broadband communications. The emergence of modern networks in the LTE standard will facilitate reaching larger network capacity, smaller delays in data transmission which are particularly important for advanced e-services as well as larger territorial coverage and network range inside the buildings.

- The auction and the frequencies offered are the greatest challenge ahead of us - I mean not only UKE and the market, but also all Poles. In practice, each of us has a mobile phone now and more than 4 million citizens of our country use mobile Internet - the President of UKE Magdalena Gaj said. - The results of the auction and the way in which the frequencies are going to be used will influence the quality of our life.

- I would call today's mobile Internet an information track. Ubiquitous LTE to be offered by operators thanks to the frequencies in the 800 MHz and 1800 MHz bands will be in contrast an information highway - the President of UKE added. - We are going to witness a quality change associated with universal LTE coverage. Thanks to these frequencies the so-called "Poland-B" with mobile Internet access limited by the coverage of the EDGE technology will go down in history.

At the same time for the first time in Poland we 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. According to the Regulatory Strategy the President of UKE consistently follows the route taken, which is to offer the market the bands supporting LTE development in Poland.

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.

- Today I am not excluding any option - it is the market that should decide what model is most suitable - Magdalena Gaj confirmed. - The documentation includes elements facilitating such cooperation, but also provisions that protect the market and consumers against creating monopolies. At present, I am in a position to talk only about technical aspects of LTE network roll-out.

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.

- However, frequencies are not unlimited. Therefore it is equally important that we focus on effectiveness in the use of currently available resources - the President of UKE added. - 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.

Investment commitments

In the auction documentation the President of UKE describes in detail investment commitments to be fulfilled by entities selected in the auction with a view to start offering the services based on granted frequencies as soon as possible as well as to complete investment in modern mobile Internet network in the whole territory of Poland.

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% 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% of the commune area). In total there are 1242 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% 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% 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 communes to be covered by the winners of the auction / photo UKE

The map above presents the communes listed in appendices from 5A to 5E (marked in red), the communes listed in Appendix 6 (marked in orange) and the communes listed in Appendix 7 (marked in blue).


Type of coverage
Number of communes
Number of inhabitants
Area [km2]
Appendices 5A, 5B, 5C, 5D and 5E
1,242
9,235,038
180,246
Appendix 6
1,053
11,218,849
115,322
Appendix 7
91
3,501,867
8,246
Total
2,386
23,955,754
303,814
ALL POLAND
2,479
38,533,299
312,679


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.


The notice on the auction are available here in Polish


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