Orange, Sunrise and Swisscom purchase mobile radio frequencies at auction

Bern, 23.02.2012 - The auction of mobile radio frequencies has been concluded: the companies Orange, Sunrise and Swisscom have equipped themselves with frequencies which presage a bright future. With the auction of existing and additional frequencies the Federal Communication Commission (ComCom) is paving the way for the use of modern and more efficient mobile radio technologies such as LTE (Long Term Evolution). Consumers will therefore be able to benefit in future from very good mobile radio provision and high-quality service. The proceeds of the auction for the Confederation amount to CHF 996‘268‘000. The auction took place from 6 to 22 February.

On behalf of ComCom, the Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) auctioned the currently free mobile radio frequencies and those which will become free by 2014 and 2017 respectively, including those of the so-called digital dividend (former broadcasting frequencies). This means that as a result of this new award, more spectrum is available to the mobile operators than they previously had in service. They will therefore be able to meet the rapidly growing demand for mobile broadband services, expand their networks using the latest mobile radio technologies such as LTE (Long Term Evolution) and offer high-quality mobile radio services to consumers in Switzerland at the lowest possible prices. The revenue, in the amount of CHF 996‘268‘000, will go to the federal treasury. 

The companies Orange, Sunrise, Swisscom and In&Phone had applied to take part in the auction. In&Phone did not satisfy the admission criteria and was therefore not allowed to participate in the auction. The auction lasted for a total of 13 days and was conducted using an electronic auction system by the British company DotEcon Ltd. This system allows secure bidding over the internet.  

Thanks to the auction, the new frequency allocation between the mobile operators was determined by themselves and not by a public authority. This world first total allocation of mobile radio frequencies allowed Orange, Sunrise and Swisscom each to purchase a new, comprehensive frequency allocation in accordance with their business models. The licences will be awarded in a technology-neutral manner so that the frequencies will also be able to be used with the latest mobile radio technologies such as LTE (Long Term Evolution of UMTS). This early award of frequencies and a period of use extending to the end of 2028 will enable licensees to plan for the long term and make their investments on a solid basis. This means that the rapidly growing demand for mobile broadband services will be able to be satisfied even in the long term.

*Table with the auction results please see media background material

Address for enquiries

Contact: Marc Furrer, President of ComCom, tel. +41 (0)31 323 52 90
For technical information: Urs von Arx, OFCOM project manager, tel. +41(0)32 327 58 56


Federal Communications Commission ComCom

Federal Office of Communications