Italy plans separate frequency auctions
January 29, 2013
From Branislav Pekic in Rome
Italy’s Communications Authority (AgCom) has announced that, instead of one, it will now organise two frequency auctions, with the first offering 20-year licences for the use of three multiplexes for TV broadcasting, and the second reserved for telecommunications operators with frequencies earmarked for LTE/4G (mobile broadband) services.
In a statement, the president of the Italian regulating body, Angelo Marcello Cardani, said that the changes aim to resolve the existing problems and enable the future development of the sector as well as the efficient use of resources.
Specifically, AgCom has reduced the number of multiplexes on offer from six to three, meaning that only new players such as Sky Italia and Discovery Channel will be allowed to bid for the DTT frequencies.
In fact, most of the frequencies removed from the auction will be used to resolve a number of problems created with the switchover to DTT. These include signal interferences caused by national broadcasters RAI, Mediaset and Telecom Italia Media to their counterparts in neighbouring countries (mainly Croatia, Malta, and France).
The regulator will also seek to resolve the issue of DTT/mobile interferences, as Telecom Italia Media (which occupies frequency number 60) could suffer from reception problems when telecommunications operator Wind launches LTE services (on adjacent frequency 61).