During Phase 1 of the auction Ziggo 4, a joint venture between Ziggo and UPC, the two largest cable operators in the country, were awarded four licences, each providing of 10 MHz of spectrum, a total of 40 MHz. The other winners were Tele 2 Mobiel (40 MHz), KPN (20 MHz), Vodafone (20 MHz) and T-Mobile (10 MHz).
All participants taking part in the auction were awarded frequencies. The three current mobile telephone licence holders, KPN, Vodafone and T-Mobile, could only bid for a limited amount of spectrum to give new entrants Ziggo 4 and Tele2 a better chance. Newcomers could bid for up to 40 MHz each, while the three incumbent mobile operators were only allowed a total of 55 MHz between the three of them.
The auction was organised by Agentschap Telecom, part of the Ministry of Economic Affairs. The bidding started last Tuesday, April 20 and took place over the internet. Originally, nine parties were interested in obtaining spectrum, but when the actual auction started, only five parties were left. Phase 2 will start on Monday April 26, when applicants can bid for specific segments of the 2.6 GHz spectrum.
The newly acquired spectrum space can be taken into service as soon as the actual licences have been issued, which will take place late May, 2010. The newly acquired frequencies can be used for LTE (Long Term Evolution) broadband services, but also for UMTS and Wi-Max.
The arrival of Ziggo 4 on the scene means that the two operators can now compete nationwide with a multi-play offer consisting of TV as well as fixed and mobile telephony and broadband access services. Until now, the offer from the cablers was confined to fixed services only. Both KPN and Tele2 are offering IPTV alongside their mobile and DSL offers; T-Mobile’s fixed broadband access service is interested in acting as a third-party reseller for analogue cable TV.