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4G/3G/WiFi

German Spectrum Auction: Day 2

4:45 PM -- The big spectrum auction in Germany went another four rounds today, bringing the total to seven so far and the total amount of the bids to €124 million (US$168 million). (See German Spectrum Auction: Day 1.)

Germany is auctioning off 360MHz of spectrum in the 800MHz, 1.8GHz, 2GHz, and 2.6GHz frequency bands, much of which is suitable for Long-Term Evolution (LTE). That's more than twice as much spectrum as was available in Germany's first spectrum auction in 2000, when the government auctioned 145MHz of spectrum for 3G services.

It's not likely that this spectrum auction will pour tens of billions of euros of mobile operators' money into government coffers, as the UMTS auction did back in 2000. Operators paid €50 billion ($68 billion) for their German 3G licenses in 2000.

First of all, it's not 2000 anymore, when the Internet boom inflated expectations for just about everything. Second, there is more spectrum available in this auction compared to 10 years ago. And third, the BNetzA has set a far lower price for minimum bids this time around. The minimum bid for a frequency block of unpaired 1x5MHz is €1.25 million ($1.7 million), or €2.5 million ($3.4 million) for a paired 2x5MHz block. In 2000, the minimum bid for a 2x5MHz block was more than 20 times higher than in this week's auction.

If you want to know how the German auction works, Bundesnetzagentur (BNetzA) 's president, Mattias Kurth, spells it all out here.

The daily results of the auction can be tracked here.

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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