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Bidders at the UMTS Auction Approach DM 90 Billion

[Berlin, GERMANY] On Wednesday, the auction for German UMTS licenses in Mainz entered the 157th round with the highest bids topping DM 90 billion (US $42 billion). All six bidders each submitted offers for a "small" license consisting of two frequency packages. Theoretically, if no other companies or syndicates submit higher bids, the auction could end in the next round. Last Friday, debitel was the first bidder to throw in the towel. Insiders believe that if another candidate withdraws, that will mean the end of the auction.

The highest bid for a small license in the amount of almost DM 15 billion (US $7 billion) was submitted by the e-plus/Hutchison bidding group in the 151st round. The syndicate is still trying to acquire a small UMTS license. Rudolf Boll from the Telecommunications and Postal Regulation Authority, which is holding the auction, explained to de.internet.com, "A so-called small frequency package is able to connect fewer end customers and does not offer a particularly broad bandwidth." UMTS is the technological standard for the third generation of mobile communications and it allows for easy mobile Internet access through broadband broadcasting.