Germany has received bids of just over five billion euros from Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom and Telefonica for radio frequencies that can be used by mobile phone operators for video streaming and other data-hungry 4G applications. Grace Pascoe reports.
181 rounds of bidding over 16 days - for Germany, that adds up to a bundle of cash. And it's plucked from the air. The German telecoms regulator says the auction for new blocks of airwaves for mobile phone operators has come to an end. Vodafone is the top bidder at just over 2 billion euros. Deutsche Telekom number 2 with a little under 2 billion. Telefonica's German arm was third. In total, bids of just over five billion were received. The spectrum going on sale to satisfy growing consumer demand for streaming video - and other data-hungry applications via 4G technology. It was the first auction in Europe to include low-frequency bands formerly used for analogue TV signals. Attractive to the bidders for their better penetration into buildings. The figures though don't match the record hit in the US this year - 45 billion dollars for airwaves there. And it's nowhere near the number hit by the German government in 2000 - 51 billion for new 3G licences.