The Czech Telecommunication Office (CTU) is sticking to its guns where it concerns its plan to auction off 4G mobile frequencies in the Republic, and will forge ahead with the allocation of spectrum to a new market entrant when the revamped tender takes place in July 2013. As such, the CTU will set aside two blocks of 800MHz spectrum for a newcomer, as well as sticking with a plan to introduce a spectrum cap on all companies looking to purchase bandwidth (i.e. a maximum two blocks each in the 800MHz band) – which is seen as critical in the swift deployment of 4G services across the Czech Republic.
The watchdog’s assertion comes despite objections from the country’s incumbent cellcos over the plan. As reported previously by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, last month the CTU received a request to stop its plans to auction 4G LTE mobile licences whilst simultaneous measures were underway to regulate the cellular market. At the time Vodafone CR spokesman Richard Stonavsky was quoted as saying that it was unreasonable for firms to bid on the new frequencies for ultra-high speed mobile services in an industry where the market regulation rules are in a state of flux. Along with Vodafone, the Czech Republic’s two other incumbent cellcos – T-Mobile CR and Telefonica O2 CR – have openly criticised the terms and conditions for the 4G tender. For its part Vodafone is against a plan to ring-fence most of the more lucrative 800MHz band for a new market entrant, and opposes the CTU’s wish to impose a set limit on how many 800MHz/900MHz frequencies a company can hold.