HAKOM, the Croatian telecommunications regulator, has announced the start of the latest competitive frequency allocation process in the country.
Monday 16 January saw bidding begin for licenses to use spectrum for mobile communications in the 800MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, 2100MHz, 2600MHz and 3600MHz bands.
Bidding during the auction will be conducted electronically. Bidding for individual frequency bands is separated into two phases. The first tender covers the 800MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, 2100MHz and 2600MHz frequency bands, which will be allocated on a countrywide basis. The second will cover the 3600MHz frequency band at the regional level.
The 3400-3480MHz band will be allocated at the regional (or county) level in order to create what are described as business opportunities for smaller, regional operators, to encourage a variety of services, and to give end users more choice.
As for when the process might finish, it seems likely that the decision on the award will be made by the end of March, assuming, of course, that one or both tenders don’t take too long.
For the format of both competitions, a simultaneous multi-round auction system is being used. The specific placement of frequency blocks per bidder will be determined in an additional round of bidding through sealed bids. Permits will be issued for a period of 15 years but could be extended for an extra five years.
The total starting price of all bidding blocks for national coverage is €154.8 million (about US$167.5 million).
A1 Croatia, Hrvatski Telekom and Telemach will be participating in the auctions for the frequency bands 800MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, 2100MHz and 2600MHz. Digicom and Markoja will battle it out for the 3600MHz frequency band.