Finland to speed up 4G auction
HELSINKI, Sept 4
HELSINKI, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Finnish regulators are set to introduce new rules in a auction of fourth-generation mobile phone licenses, aiming to speed up a process which has dragged on since January.
The Finnish communications regulatory authority said on Wednesday the auction had gone on too long and it would adjust the system in October after a one-month break starting on Sept. 19.
The new rules will require service providers to raise their offers in every round of bidding for the six spectrum bands available, tackling a quirk of the current system which meant they could trigger bidding rounds at lower levels by shifting their bids among the different bands.
The likely bidders include operators TeliaSonera, Elisa and DNA.
The 800 MHz frequency bands on offer are valuable because they allow mobile signals to travel long distances. Service providers are allowed to purchase a maximum of three.
Authorities are worried that the prolonged auction could delay the availability of 4G wireless services until after the planned start at the beginning of 2014.
When the auction began in January, the government estimated it would receive at least 100 million euros ($131.6 million) for the 20-year licences. ($1 = 0.7601 euros) (Reporting by Terhi Kinnunen; Editing by David Holmes)
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