current state of play
|At end-2000, a total of
51 licenses had been awarded in eleven countries across Western Europe,
which is equivalent to around 70 per cent of the Western European
3G licenses. This includes the licenses in all the most populous countries,
with the exception of France. A further five Western Europe countries
are currently in the process of awarding their 3G licenses.
Around two-thirds of the 3G licenses awarded to-date have gone to
incumbent mobile operators, with the remainder going to brand new
players in each country. The licensing selection was made using either
the so-called Beauty Contest or the auction processand
in some cases, a combination of both.
The following table summarises the 3G licensing status in each European
country at February 2001. It is worth noting that a very small group
of pan-European mobile operators has emerged, with each holding licenses
in most European countries. Several contracts for an initial infrastructure
deployment have already been awarded. To date, Ericsson, Nokia and
Nortel have been the dominant names in the vendors awards.