Analysis of the 2.6 GHz Spectrum Auction in Belgium

By | November 29, 2011

The 2.6 GHz spectrum auction in Belgium closed yesterday after it netted a total of €77.8 million for a total of 155 MHz. Although the media reported the outcome as being low, I think the price is representative for this band at 4.6 euro cents per MHz-PoP. This is more so the case as the license is valid for 15 years while in other countries the licenses are for period of up to 20 years.

Operator Frequencies Bandwidth Euro €/MHz-PoP
Belgacom 2,500-2,520 / 2,620-2,640 MHz 2×20 MHz  20,220,000 0.046
KPN Group 2,535-2,550 / 2,655-2,670 MHz 2×15 MHz  15,040,000 0.046
Mobistar 2,550-2,570 / 2,670-2,690 MHz 2×20 MHz  20,020,000 0.045
BUCD 2,575-2,620 MHz 45 MHz  22,510,000 0.045

2.6 GHz Spectrum Price in Europe

Also worthwhile to note is that the price for the FDD and TDD spectrum in this band is similar. It would be interesting to find out what the TDD band can be used for. I see for now three main contenders:

  1. TD-LTE to provide mobile broadband services.
  2. Augment downlink FDD spectrum using carrier aggregation techniques.
  3. Provide non-line-of-sight backhaul for small cells in heterogeneous network architecture.

The use of the 2.6 GHz TDD band will depend on the business case and value proposition for each approach. What’s interesting in the case of Belgium is that none of the three major mobile network operators acquired spectrum in this band, unlike other countries like Germany and Italy.