Finland’s Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC) has confirmed that it is now accepting applications from those companies wishing to take part in its sale of spectrum in the 800MHz band. The development comes after telecoms regulator FICORA last month presented a proposal to parliament on amending the current Act on auctioning frequencies in the 2500MHz-2690MHz range so that it can be applied to the auction of frequencies in the 800MHz band as well. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, the watchdog requested comments on the 800MHz frequency auction process, on the draft regulation known as FICORA Regulation 64 and on the associated Explanatory Notes of the Regulation. Comments were also invited for the technical licence conditions for licences granted for the 800MHz band, with a deadline for the consultation period for all of the above set as 14 November 2012.
With the consultation having closed, the MoTC has now confirmed that would-be bidders will need to register by 17 December 2012 to take part in the auction, with companies required to pay a EUR65,000 (USD83,020) non-refundable participation fee. Further, documentation released by the ministry has also confirmed that it will offer a total of six frequency pairs of 5MHz each in the 791MHz–821MHz and 832MHz–862MHz bands, with concessions valid for 20 years from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2033. According to the auction rules, a maximum of three 5MHz paired blocks may be granted to any one company within the aforementioned frequency bands. A starting price for the spectrum has meanwhile been set at EUR16.67 million per paired 5MHz block. The sale itself will begin on 24 January 2013.