PTA approves Vodafone-Nova frequency sharing deal

4 Jul 2014

Icelandic telecoms watchdog the Post and Telecommunication Agency (PTA) has approved the sharing of frequencies for the provision of 2G (GSM), 3G (UMTS) and 4G (Long Term Evolution, LTE) services by a newly established joint venture between domestic mobile operators Vodafone Iceland (Fjarskipti hf.) and Nova.

In March 2014 the watchdog asked the public to comment on a proposal to authorise the shared use of frequencies in the 800MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz and 2100MHz bands, as allocated to Vodafone and Nova, after receiving an application for joint concessions from the cellcos. The move came after the two companies signed an agreement to establish a common infrastructure company in November 2013. Under the terms set out by the deal, the two companies will provide an equal initial contribution to the 50/50 joint venture, which will be tasked with the implementation of a nationwide integrated distribution network.

The Agency said in its Decision No.14/2014 that, subject to certain conditions, the proposed collaboration between Vodafone and Nova will have a positive impact on the Icelandic telecoms market with respect to efficiency in the construction and operation of telecoms networks and services to consumers. The sharing agreement, however, is also subject to approval from the Icelandic Competition Authority (ICA), which has yet to publish its ruling on the matter.

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