Italy's WiMax Auction Arrives

1:00 PM -- The Italian Ministry of Communication finally announced that the 3.4 GHz to 3.6 GHz WiMax spectrum auction will be in January 2008. Check out the details here, if you're Italian's good. Or, if your Italian is as good as mine, look here, for a Google translation where Communications Minister Paolo Gentiloni is quoted as saying, "Thanks to broadband, have more broadband."

The auction has been delayed for many months and was originally planned for June. Among the operators understood to be interested in this auction are Fastweb SpA (Milan: FWB), Tiscali SpA (Milan: TIS), Vodafone Italy , Telecom Italia (TIM) , and Wind Telecomunicazioni SpA . (See Fastweb Plays Wireless Waiting Game, Euro WiMax RFPs Heat Up, Inquam lands Another Euro WiMax License, and Vodafone's WiMax Creep.)

The licenses will be auctioned on a regional basis and are limited to fixed wireless services. Operators will be allowed to bid for licenses in several regions to have a national license. The government's starting prices range from €40,000 ($57,000) for the smallest region and €3.5 million ($5 million) for the largest region.

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung

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