Polish mobile networks Plus and Play against government's plan to shorten high-speed internet bidding period

September 14
3:29 AM 2015

Polish mobile network operators Plus and Play are for the scraping of the government's plan to shorten the bid period for the high-speed Internet frequencies for fear that it would penalize some bidders.

According to Bloomberg, the Administration Ministry submitted a motion that would shorten the bidding for Long Term Evolution (LTE) frequencies into 115 auction days. This proposal is meant to reduce delays and make sure budget revenue is secured. If approved, the draft, which was published in the government's website last week, the auction that began Feb 10 will end October. The auction garnered offers that reached 6.8 billion zloty or $1.8 billion on September 4. It only got 1.6 billion zloty when the auction started.

The LTE auction has no definite end date. It has dragged on as bidders increase their offers, leading to the inflation of the investment cost to per-user levels in France and Germany. Opposition Law & Justice member Anna Strezynska said the proposed shortening of the period would be harmful as the very high price might have adverse effect on other investments in the industry. Trigon Dom Maklerski SA brokerage analyst Hanna Kedziora said, "The change itself seems to be beneficial for markets, as it will halt infinite bidding to very high levels."

"However, sudden amendments to the rules of the auction would create the argument for calls to cancel the process," Kedziora said.

As reported by Telecompaper, Regulator UKE president Magdalena Gaj was optimistic with the ministry's effort to end the auction without cancelling it. The Legal Department of the Confederation Lewiatan director Krzysztof Kajda said the organization didn't have a consensus position on the shortening of bidding period proposed by the government.

The National Chamber of Ethernet Communication (KIKE) did not take part in the consultation. KIKE's board member Piotr Marciniak said LTE technology is important to the chamber, but the award procedure is not.

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