In October 2016, the Iceland Post and Telecom Administration (Post-og Fjarskiptastofnun or PTA) published draft rules for an electronic auction of frequencies in bands 700, 2100, and 2600 MHz. Six parties submitted comments and the terms of the auction were updated to include licenses in the 800 MHz band. In March 2017, parties were invited to submit comments on the updated draft.
On April 12, 2017, PTA published the final terms of the auction for licenses in the 700, 800, 2100 and 2600 MHz bands. Parties wishing to participate in the auction were required to register before May 2, 2017. On May 8, 2017, PTA announced which parties are qualified to participate in the auction, which will start on Monday, May 22:
- Fjarskipti hf. (Vodafone)
- Nova hf.
- Síminn hf.
- Yellow B.V.
Licenses offered are:
- two 2×10 MHz in the 700 MHz band (totaling 40MHz) valid for 15 years,
- two 2×5 MHz in the 800 MHz band (totaling 20 MHz) valid for 15 years,
- three 2×5 MHz in the 2100 MHz band (totaling 30MHz) valid for 5 years, and
- two 2×20 MHz plus three 2×10 MHz in the 2600 MHz band (totaling 140 MHz) valid for 10 years.
There are speed and coverage requirements associated with licenses in the 700 and 800 MHz bands. All frequencies must be used for high-speed network services and are technologically neutral.
For the first half of 2016, the total number of mobile subscriptions in Iceland was 436 021 on a total population of 332 000, implying penetration of connections of 133%.
The market share of each service provider for the first half of 2016 (total subscriptions in mobile networks) was:
- Nova: 34.4%
- Síminn: 33.7%
- Vodafone: 27.5%
- 365: 3.7%
- Others: 0.7%.