SANTANDER, Spain, Aug 31 (Reuters) - Spain will soon launch an auction of mobile phone frequencies in the 2.6 GHz band, the government said on Monday, allowing operators to improve their 4G network coverage.
“In the coming weeks, the bidding procedure will start for the frequency bands in the 2.6 GHz range,” the Industry Ministry said in a statement issued during a telecoms conference.
The ministry did not say how much money it hoped to raise through the auction and gave no details of how the auction would work. Proceeds will be helpful for a government looking to cut its budget deficit as it emerges from a deep economic crisis.
The 2.6 GHz band allows mobile phone operators to improve reception in buildings and broaden 4G coverage, so it could be attractive for operators that already have a network but wish to improve the signal.
Spain said in August 2011 it had raised 1.82 billion euros ($2 billion) from the sale of other radio frequencies to cellphone network operators in need of bandwidth to cater for the data-hungry demands of smartphones and tablets.
Spain’s three biggest mobile operators, Telefonica, Vodafone and Orange, were the biggest buyers in that auction. ($1 = 0.8898 euros) (Reporting by Andres Gonzalez; Writing by Adrian Croft; Editing by David Holmes)