TAIPED to auction cell phone frequencies

Greece’s privatization agency (TAIPED) expect to raise 300-380 million euros by March 2015 by auctioning frequencies to cell phone operators.

The auction, already announced by the country’s telecommunications and posts watchdog (EET&T) for September 15, will concern six frequency blocks in the 800 MHz zone, known as the “digital share” and with a starting price of 51.5 million euros each. EET&T will also auction a further 18 blocks in the 2,600 MHz area.

The bidders, Greece’s three cell phone operators – Cosmote, Vodafone and Wind Hellas – will most likely receive two frequency blocks in the 800 MHz zone each.

It is the first time that Greece and EET&T are not selling a “clean” range of frequencies but one that is now being “cleaned” of interference.

The European Commission had asked member states to complete the transition to the digital era by the end of 2012 but Greece is the last one to do so. Due to the delay, the transition to digital television and the granting of the “digital shares” to cell phone operators is being done simultaneously.