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In February 2012, the Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM), on behalf of ComCom, auctioned all mobile phone frequencies. In addition to the frequencies employed today using GSM and UMTS technology, additional frequencies were awarded in the 2600 MHz and 800 MHz ranges (the 'digital dividend'). Thus in the future significantly more spectrum will be available to licensees than before.
The overall award of all mobile radio frequencies in a single auction, unique worldwide, was conducted successfully and generated total revenue in excess of CHF 996 million. ComCom awarded the licences at the beginning of June 2012 to Orange, Sunrise and Swisscom. No licensee has lodged a complaint against the licences and the award procedure.
Each of the three operators – Orange, Sunrise and Swisscom – was able to acquire a future-proof spectrum allocation significantly larger than their previous one. This will ensure that it will be possible to meet the rapidly growing demand for mobile broadband services, even in the long term. Today, a large proportion of customers have already a smartphone and the data which is carried over mobile radio networks is doubling every 12 months.
The entry into force of the new mobile radio licences opens up the way for significant investment in the latest mobile technologies such as LTE (Long Term Evolution of UMTS). The early award of frequencies and a term which extends to the end of 2028 will now enable licensees to plan for the long term and make their investments on a solid basis. In the future, consumers in Switzerland will also benefit from high-quality mobile services and transmission speeds which will continue to increase.
See also media release and media background material from 23.2.2012