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The procedure for transferring and leasing frequency licences

By "transfer" of a frequency licence is meant the transfer of the licence to a new licence holder. This involves the transfer of rights and obligations in accordance with the licence. By "lease" of the frequency licence is meant that the relevant frequencies can be used for parties other than the licence holder. This entails that the rights and obligations remain with the licence holder.

1. Introduction

Pursuant to Section 6-5 of the Act relating to Electronic Communications, the Authority may issue individual decisions that grant the holder of the frequency licence the right to transfer the licence. This applies between companies, but can also apply to holders of frequency licences that are not companies. In accordance with the applicable assignment of functions within the public administration.

Inquiries concerning the transfer of frequency licences can be sent to the following email address: firmapost@nkom.no.

2. Lease of frequencies granted in accordance with frequency licences

If a licence holder wishes to lease the frequencies that the licence holder has been granted the authority to use, the licence holder is free to do this unless otherwise stipulated in the actual licence, laws or regulations. If you are in any doubt about the right to lease frequencies you can contact Nkom at firmapost@nkom.no.

There are no special procedures or requirements for notifying Nkom to be able to lease out frequencies, provided the licence holder has the right to do so.

The Electronic Communications Act § 6-5 regarding transfer of frequency licences was updated on 1st of July 2013. In accordance with § 6-5 the holder shall inform the Authority of any planned leasing of frequencies that may have a significant impact on competition. The Authority may refuse the lease of frequencies to prevent an anti-competitive effect.

3. The procedure for companies that wish to transfer a frequency licence

The existing holder of a frequency licence (seller) and the holder of the frequency licence after a potential transfer has taken place (buyer) must enter into a private law agreement for the transfer of the frequency licence. For the seller to be able to be relieved of the rights and obligations that follow from the frequency licence and for the buyer to be able to assume such rights and obligations, the transfer must be approved and registered by Nkom in advance.
It is the seller of the frequency licence that must take the initiative to inform Nkom in matters concerning transfers. The seller can submit a request to Nkom for the transfer of the frequency licence by sending written notification to Nkom:

  • The frequency licence that is requested to be transferred must be identified (state the licence number).
  • The seller and buyer must be identified by official company names and Norwegian organisation numbers (for registration in the Brønnøysund Register Centre see www.brreg.no/english/). Private individuals must state their national identification number.
  • The notice must be signed by a person who can legally bind the selling company and by a person who can legally bind the company purchasing the frequency licence (people who have power of attorney).

Nkom must also receive prior written notice when important changes are made to a company's ownership composition or organisation. The procedure above applies correspondingly.

In the event of a change to the company name whereby the company retains its organisation number in the Brønnøysund Register Centre, it is sufficient that Nkom is notified by the license holder of the name change. Nkom will then update its register in accordance with what appears in the Brønnøysund Register Centre.

The form that can be used when submitting a transfer request can be found under Related documents.

4. Nkom's case handling

The transfer of a frequency licence must be assessed in relation to the competition situation in the sense that the transfer should not result in the concentration of an essential input (the frequency resource) that could result in the establishment of a strong market position in relevant markets for electronic communication networks and services. If a transfer does not result in a dominant market player acquiring control over additional frequency resources, Nkom will normally consent to the transfer. If a review of whether the conditions for transfer are satisfied has a negative conclusion, Nkom shall issue a decision to prohibit the transfer.

In certain cases the processing time will be approximately 2 weeks. In cases that entail the risk of increased control of frequency resources by dominant players, the assessment of the competition situation will be more complicated and the processing time could vary from 2 weeks to approximately 3 months.

Nkom will give all parties to cases concerning transfers written notice of the conclusion of the case handling process.

5. Publishing and public disclosure

If the transfer is executed, Nkom will publish the decision. See the document "Transfers of Spectrum Licences".

If the buyer and/or seller so requests, the matter can be exempt from public disclosure pursuant to the rules relating to the duty of confidentiality pertaining to business secrets (Section 13, first paragraph no. 2 of the Public Administration Act and Section 13 of the Freedom of Information Act) until the potential execution of the transfer. In their inquiries to Nkom, the parties must give notice of a potential request for exemption from public disclosure.