Prices set for Belgium's 3G licence auction

Belgian government braces itself for UMTS auction in December
Written by Graeme Wearden, Contributor

With a third-generation(3G) auction scheduled for December the Belgian government has set a reserve price of over £90m per licence.

The licences allow companies to develop high-speed UMTS networks, capable of delivering Internet and multimedia content to mobile phones. The auction will consist of four licences.

Belgium's government plans to use the proceeds of the auction to pay off debt. The British government raised £22bn from auctioning five licences in April, and Germany collected £28bn from six licences. Belgium's telecommunications minister Rik Daems believes that the auction will raise at least 1.5bn euros (£900m).

Nicholas Negroponte, director of MIT's media lab, recently condemned 3G and the European auctions. He believes that consumers will be happy with GPRS, and won't be prepared to pay large amounts of money for 3G.

According to German magazine Focus, BT admitted in August that 3G users would pay a high price for their phones as telecommunication companies make up the costs of obtaining licences and building networks.

Take me to the ZDNet Road to 3G News Special.

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