Norway Nets $13.5M

9:55 AM -- Norway kicked off its 2.6 GHz auction on Monday, making it the first European country to auction the mobile broadband spectrum. At the end of the second day, the bidding had gone for 17 rounds and totaled $13.5 million (71.2 million Norwegian Kronor).

The Norwegian regulator has not revealed who the bidders are but said recently that the demand for unpaired spectrum for WiMax was higher than the demand for paired spectrum for cellular 3G systems. (See Telenor Launches WiMax.)

OK, it's only Norway. But this is an important auction to watch because the Norwegians are taking a technology neutral approach. That means operators can use the spectrum however they like, whether it's for fixed, nomadic, or mobile services. Sweden and the U.K. are also going the neutral way, and other markets are likely to follow. (See Europe Makes Way for WiMax.)

— Michelle Donegan, Norwegian-phile Editor, Unstrung

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