[Berlin, GERMANY] At the UMTS license auctions today in Mainz, four
German mobile radio operators are at the head of the pack. On the third day and at
the 21st round of auctioning, the e-network operators VIAG Interkom and e-plus have placed the highest bids at DM 750 million (US $355 million) each for three blocks of
frequency. T-Mobil, the German Telekom subsidiary, was willing to spend DM 725 million
(US $343 million) for three other pairs of frequency. On the third day of auctioning the bids last totalled over DM 3.47 billion (US $1.64 billion).
MobilCom is still at the forefront with its bid of a billion Marks for two
blocks. The operators need two or three frequency blocks for a UMTS license. With
twelve frequency pairs being auctioned off, this would result in four to six
possible licenses in Germany.
Seven companies and groups are still among the bidders, including debitel
and its parent company Swisscom and the 3G Group consisting of the Spanish
Telefsnica and the Finnish Sonera. MobilCom has an alliance with France
Tilicom and e-plus is working together with Hutchison of Hong Kong. Experts are
expecting a double digit figure in the billions.