Germany Delays Auction

2:10 PM -- German regulator Bundesnetzagentur (BNetzA) outlined plans to auction next year spectrum in the 1.8 GHz, 2 GHz, and 2.6 GHz frequency bands, which is suitable for LTE and WiMax. That's a whole year later than originally planned. (See Germany Preps Auction, Spectrum up for Grabs in Europe, Europe Makes Way for WiMax, and UK WiMax Faces Spectrum Fight.)

The delay is due to a legal wrangle with fixed wireless broadband company Airdata AG because it still occupies some of the 1.8 GHz spectrum, according to a spokesman at the German regulator. Airdata's license was supposed to expire at the end of 2007, but the company wants to hold the spectrum for longer. The case is now in court, and the BNetzA spokesman says the regulator will need the rest of this year to formulate the rules for the auction that will take into account whatever the court decides.

The rules for the mobile broadband auction are expected at the end of this year and the auction will happen some time in 2009.

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung

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