Bidders named for UMTS licences

The 10 companies that expressed an interest in buying third generation mobile phone licences have all been given permission to take part in an auction due to start on November 13.

This content was published on August 29, 2000

Announcing the list of bidders on Tuesday, the Federal Office for Communications said the auction of the four UMTS licences should last between two and four weeks.

The 10 companies permitted to bid are Swisscom, Diax (through its affiliate, dSpeed), Orange, Sunrise, Cablecom Management, Hutchison 3G Europe, Team 3G, Teldotcom, Telenor Mobile Communications and T-Mobile International.

The Communications Office said it was satisfied that all 10 applicants had the required finances and fulfilled all other pre-selection criteria.

Each licence will cost at least SFr50 million ($29million). The auction is expected to bring SFr3 to SFr6 billion into the federal government's coffers.

The Communications Office said it wasn't interested in maximising receipts but in a rational and fair distribution of the licences.

Recent auctions for UMTS networks in Germany and Britain have been criticised for over-valuing the licences.

Experts say the Swiss market is smaller but interesting from a technological point of view.

The bidders expect that UMTS networks will open up lucrative new revenue opportunities for high speed mobile internet and data services, which may one day replace fixed line telephone services.

swissinfo with agencies

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