Nkom postpones November’s spectrum auction after telcos complain about proposed cap

Norway has postponed the auction of high-band mobile spectrum just two months before it was due to take place, after two of the country’s telcos filed complaints over proposed spectrum caps.

Regulator Nkom on Friday said it cannot proceed with the award process, including determining the final auction rules, until the Ministry of Transport and Communications has dealt with petitions from Telia and Ice.

"Pending the decision of the [MoTC], the auction will be postponed," Nkom said. "The auction will therefore not be held on 19 November 2018," as planned under the draft auction rules, it said. "Once [the MoTC] has made its decision, Nkom will set a new tentative schedule that will be published on our Website."

Nkom had planned to sell off airwaves in the 6 GHz, 8 GHz, low 10 GHz, high 10 GHz, 13 GHz, 18 GHz, 23 GHz, 28 GHz and 38 Ghz bands in November and had proposed a spectrum cap of two-thirds of the total available frequencies. Telia and Ice have complained to the government, requesting that the cap be lowered, and an investigation is currently underway.

Existing licences in some of the above bands are due to expire at the end of 2018, the regulator noted. As a result of the postponement, it is allowing licensees to apply for temporary extensions; they have until 12 October to do so.