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Spain seeks €1.5bn-€2bn from telcos in 4G auctions

04 апреля 2011

Spain's Industry ministry Friday said it plans to raise between EUR1.5 billion and EUR2 billion through the auction of fourth-generation mobile telephony spectrum later this year, a move that may provide much-needed income for the country's cash-strapped government.

Bernardo Lorenzo, a deputy industry minister, said the auction will start in late June-early July, and should be completed in less than a month. He added that companies will pay for most of the spectrum this year, with a smaller amount to be paid early next year.

Spain's auction comes after the sale of 4G licenses and spectrum in Germany last year netted EUR4.38 billion in revenue for the government. In smaller countries, recent auctions have ranged from over $300 million in Sweden to just EUR2.6 million in the Netherlands, according to the estimates of CitySavvy, a U.K. public relations agency.

Portugal is looking to raise over EUR200 million, likely later this year, while the U.K. may raise between GBP2 billion and GBP4 billion in an auction already set for next year, analysts say.

For Spain, the added revenue may be a welcome addition to government accounts, which have been badly hit by a real estate bust resulting in sharply lower revenue and higher expenses. Spain's budget deficit stood at just over 9% of gross domestic product in 2010, and the government has vowed to cut that to 6% of GDP this year. However, Spain's central bank said earlier this week it anticipates the deficit may actually be at 6.3% of GDP.

Lorenzo said dominant mobile operators, like Telefonica SA, Vodafone PLC and France Telecom SA, will face some limits to the spectrum they can bid for, but the auction will be open to all operators in the country.

Источник: Total Telecom

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