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Dutch Networks Spend $5 Billion on New Radio Spectrum Licenses

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Dutch mobile networks have paid EUR3.8 billion (USD5 billion) for blocks of radio spectrum in a lengthy auction carried out by the telecoms regulator.

The multi-band auction started on the 31st October, and took five weeks to complete the sale of all 41 blocks on offer.

The three incumbent operators will also be joined by Tele2, which already has an MVNO, but can now deploy its own network.

Most of the licenses have a 17-year duration although some were for just four years to bring them in line with the other licenses.

Of the spectrum on offer, Vodafone paid EUR1.38 billion for 9 blocks; KPN paid EUR 1.35 billion for 15 blocks, T-Mobile paid EUR910.7 million for 15 blocks and Tele2 paid EUR160.8 million for 2 blocks.

In a separate statement, Vodafone clarified that it acquired 17-year spectrum of 2x10MHz in the 800MHz band, 2x10MHz in the 900MHz band, and 2x20MHz in the 1800MHz band. Additionally it acquired 2x5MHz in the 2.1GHz band for four years.

KPN clarified that it secured 2x10MHz in the 800MHz band, 2x10MHz in the 900MHz band, 2x10MHz in the 1800MHz band, 2x5Mhz in the 2.1Ghz band and 6x5Mhz in the 2.6Ghz band. KPN did however cancel its dividend for 2012 and reduced its plans for payments to shareholder in 2013 to help fund the spectrum purchases.

Tele2 obtained 2x10MHz spectrum in the 800MHz band which it said it will use for a LTE network deployment.

T-Mobile hasn't released any comment about its aquisitions at the time of going to press.

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Tags: radio spectrum  Netherlands