April 11, 2012 10.14 Europe/London By Julian Clover
Italian minister for economic development Sviluppo Corrado Passera has confirmed that Italy is to drop plans for a beauty contest to allocate new terrestrial frequencies.
In an article for La Repubblica Passera said there would be an auction with blocks of frequencies running for varying durations.
Having consulted with the relevant European authorities, one option is that frequencies in the 700 MHz range might be sold for a period of just three years. This would allow broadband internet access onto the band from 2015, one of the proposals to come out of the recent WRC discussions in Geneva.
The remaining frequencies are perceived as being less valuable and would be licensed over a longer period.
If Europe gives its final approval it is likely that the auction might take place by the summer.
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