Italy preps secondary trading in Mobile bandwidth

Significant move

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

ComputerWire: IT Industry Intelligence

In a move of immense significance for Europe's cash-strapped telecoms sector, the Italian government is preparing to enable mobile operators to trade in bandwidth,

Rik Turner writes.

Communications minister Maurizio Gasparri last week told the parliamentary committee on telecoms and transport that he plans to make it possible for mobile license holders to transfer the right of use frequencies to other companies.

Italy is now set to become the first EU member country to permit such trading after the Union itself adopted legislation that makes provision for such business as from July 2003. On one hand, this move is good news for companies that hold 3G licenses, particularly the new entrant group that includes Hutchison Whampoa Ltd, because it should help them to amortize network build-out costs prior to having a large enough number of subscribers to occupy all its licensed spectrum.

On the other hand, secondary trading in mobile bandwidth will establish a real market value on the commodity. If other European governments follow Italy's example, new entrant license holders that are already under a cloud with the financial market will have to reduce the book value of the licenses on their balance sheets via write-downs. Italy raised only 12.2bn euros ($11bn) with the sale of its four 3G licenses last year, but Germany had earlier raised a massive 50.5bn euros ($45bn), and the UK 38.5bn euros ($35bn), so if either of them allow secondary trading, the ramifications are potentially huge.

The signs are that at least some national administrations are preparing to enable such transactions. In the UK, a spokesperson for the Radio Communications Agency said the government is moving toward permitting secondary trading after an independent review of spectrum management carried out by a leading academic with expertise in the subject had advocated such a measure. He added that the RCA would shortly sponsor a public consultation on the subject.

The most reticent government so far has been Germany's, but with the EU okaying secondary trading and the authorities in other major economies moving to permit it, it can only be a question of time before Bonn follows suit. The implications are great here, not only because the volumes paid were so great, but also because Germany has not one but two new entrants, namely Group 3G comprising Spain's Telefonica SA and Finland's Sonera Oyj and the group that includes MobilCom AG and France Telecom SA.

© ComputerWire. All rights reserved.

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
What FTC lawsuit? T-Mobile US touts 10GB, $100 family-of-4 plan
Folks 'could use that money for more important things' says CEO Legere
prev story


Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.