Vodafone, T-Mobile and O2 all seek legal challenge over Czech spectrum auction
The Czech spectrum auction has a bumpy ride ahead of it, with reports yesterday suggesting that Vodafone and T-Mobile will join their rival O2 in presenting a legal challenge against the Czech Telecommunications Office over the terms of the auction.
The process itself has already faced lengthy delays. Initial plans had scheduled the auction for the latter half of 2019, but an objection by the European Commission regarding a network sharing deal between the Czech arms of Telefonica and Deutsche Telekom saw the process postponed. Further delays occurred in December, with the government deciding to seek a fourth player to enter the Czech market.
The addition of a new player to the market, as well as various stipulations attached to the acquisition of spectrum, has not been well received by the existing telcos. In July, O2 complained to the European Commission over the auction’s terms and, when the tender process began in earnest in August, Vodafone was quick to add that further court clashes could be on the horizon.
“Given the mistakes and problems in the conditions, it can be expected that the auction will result in clashes at courts and also the European Commission,” said the company in a statement.
Now, it seems that exactly such measures have come to pass, with Vodafone and T-Mobile both reportedly launching legal challenges over the terms of the auction, citing national roaming and the low cap on the frequency allocations as key concerns. The latter is particularly important, with the complainants arguing that such caps will restrict their ability to deliver gigabit speeds on their 5G networks.
The tender process is scheduled to end on at the end of this month, but with so many legal battles to fight, the process could yet see further delays.
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