Auction # 28 (700 MHz and 2.1 GHz bands)
In November 2015 the Norwegian government decided that the 700 MHz band (694-790 MHz) in the future will be dedicated to mobile broadband communications services. Today the 700 MHz band is used for digital terrestrial television (DTT) and wireless microphones (in "TV white spaces") in Norway. The DTT-licence expires 3rd of June 2021, but in June 2018 it was agreed that the 700 MHz band will be released for mobile services from 1 November 2019.
During the preparation process of the award, there has been a question whether parts of the 700 MHz-band should be set aside for a dedicated network for high speed broadband service for public safety. On the 8 December 2017 the Norwegian government decided that 2 x 30 MHz in the 700 MHz band shall be made available for commercial operators.
There is excess demand for the 2 x 15 MHz available in the 2.1 GHz band. Nkom has decided to assign this spectrum together with the 700 MHz band, in order for a new operator or an operator with little spectrum to obtain both coverage and capacity spectrum in order to offer competitive mobile services. In addition, there will be economical and practical benefits from assigning the two bands in a joint auction process.
Public consultation of draft auction rules
Nkom published draft auction rules, which are the specific rules for participation in the auction, registration of bidders and conduct of the auction etc, 20 December 2018. Deadline for consultation responses are 13 February 2019. The draft auction rules are available in English. All annexes are in Norwegian, and are available on the public consultation webpage.
Consultation responses, in Norwegian or English, can be sent to email@example.com and in copy to firstname.lastname@example.org within the deadline. Mark the subject field “700 MHz and 2.1 GHz bands”. Nkom will publish the consultation responses after the deadline for the consultation. Sensitive information must be clearly marked in the response.
The final auction rules will be finalized after the consultation.
The overall framework for the auction constitutes together with the auction rules, the regulations for the auction. The overall framework, which regulates spectrum caps, reserve prices, coverage obligations etc was determined in November 2018. For more information on the overall framework Nkom refers to the letters from the Ministry to Nkom on 4 July and 3 December 2018 and Nkoms document on the final overall framework published 20 December 2018, available under “Documents” below.
- 20 December 2018 – 13 February 2019: Public consultation of draft auction rules
- March 2019: Publish final auction rules
- April 2019: Deadline for registration of bidders for the auction
- May 2019: Auction starts
The time schedule is tentative, with the exemption of the deadline for responses to the public consultation of the draft auction rules.
Spectrum in the 700 MHz band
The 700 MHz band is harmonized within the EEA. 2 x 30 MHz of the frequency band (marked "Uplink" and "Downlink" in Figure 1) shall be used for mobile services in the future.
The rest of the band consist of a "center gap" and guard bands. These parts of the 700 MHz band will not be assigned in the upcoming auction. Each country within the EEA may decide which of the following services they will allow in these parts of the band:
- PMSE (Program Making and Special Events), e.g. wireless microphones, in the frequency range 694-703 MHz and 733-758 MHz.
- PPDR (Public Protection and Disaster Relief) in the frequency range 698-703 MHz, 733-736 MHz, 753-758 MHz and 788-791 MHz.
- M2M (machine-to-machine radio communications), e.g. equipment for Internet of Things, in the frequency range 733-736 MHz and 788-791 MHz.
- SDL (Supplemental
Figur 1: Harmonization of the 700 MHz band
Recommendations on the use of the 700 MHz band
Overall objectives for the allocation are to facilitate the efficient use of the spectrum and maximize the economic benefit to the society. During the process for allocation of the 700 MHz band, the Authorities have considered what will be efficient use of the spectrum.
Nexia Management Consulting AS (now Analysys Mason AS) and Menon Business Economics AS have conducted a socioeconomic analysis of the usage of the 700 MHz band on assignment from Nkom. Nexia/Menon delivered their report in February 2017. The report (in Norwegian only) and an executive summary (in English) are available for download. The report was subject to public consultation from 1 March 2017 to 19 April 2017. Consultation responses are available for download, but are in Norwegian only.
Nkom have engaged DotEcon Limited as consultant on the preparation and implementation of the allocation.
Nkom provided our recommendations on the usage of the 700 MHz band to the Ministry of Transport and Communications in June 2017. Nkom has considered which usage of the spectrum will facilitate the most efficient use of the resources and also to be socioeconomically most beneficial. Nkom recommend that 2 x 30 MHz is allocated for commercial, public mobile networks.
Nkom has considered whether parts of the 700 MHz-band should be set aside for a high speed broadband service for public safety network (PPDR). Nkom's recommendation is however that the needs for such broadband services for PPDR-users and the Norwegian Armed Forces best can be met by commercial operators in public mobile networks. This recommendation is in line with the Norwegian government's Digital Agenda and Nkom will actively work towards that commercial public mobile networks shall be able to provide services for PPDR-users in the future.
Part 1 and 2 of Nkom's report to the Ministry of Transport and Communications is made public together with a cover letter to the Ministry which contains a summary of Nkom's recommendations for the use for the 700 MHz band (both in Norwegian only). The rest of the report contains Nkom's preliminary assessments on overall framework for the allocation, use of the "center gap" and guard bands etc. and this part of the report is not public.
Decision to assign 2 x 30 MHz to commercial operators
8 December 2017 the Norwegian Government decided that 2 x 30 MHz in the 700 MHz band shall be made available for commercial operators. The decision is in accordance with Nkom's recommendation to the Ministry of Transport and Communications. This is also in accordance with the joint recommendation from the Directorate for Civil Protection (DSB) and Nkom that the next-generation emergency communications network should be realized within commercial networks. Nkom will now continue with preparations towards the assignment of the 700 MHz band.
Preliminary timeline for the allocation process
- First half of 2018: Public hearing of the overall objectives of the allocation
- Second half of 2018: Public hearing of the detailed rules for the allocation process
- First part of 2019: Allocation of the 700 MHz band
Use of wireless microphones in the 700 MHz-band
When the 700 MHz-band is used for mobile broadband communications services, there will no longer be given rights to use wireless microphones in the frequency bands 703-733 MHz and 758-788 MHz. It has not yet been decided whether wireless microphones will be allowed in the center gap or guard bands, but Nkom recommend users to buy equipment that support other frequency bands than 700 MHz.
- Letter from the Ministry of Transport and Communications to Nkom dated 13 January 2015 (in Norwegian only)
- Nexia/Menon: Future use of the 700 MHz band, Economic analysis, February 2017 (in Norwegian only)
- Nexia/Menon: Future use of the 700 MHz band, Executive summary, February 2017
- Nexia: Future use of the center gap and guard bands in the 700 MHz band, Economic analysis, February 2017 (in Norwegian only)
- Nkom's report to the Ministry of Transport and Communications on the 700 MHz band, 12 June 2017 (in Norwegian only)
- Cover letter Nkom's report to the Ministry of Transport and Communications on the 700 MHz band, 12 June 2017 (in Norwegian only)
- Directorate for Civil Protection (DSB)/Nkom: Next generation Nødnett in commercial networks, 23 October 2017
- Nkom: Final overall framework dated 20 December 2018 (in Norwegian only)
- Questions and answers regarding the draft auction rules (PDF, 309 kB)