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Hi bhhurd

You make some interesting points some of which I am not qualified to argue with, namely the costs of rolling out 3G services. Again I have to leave that to you and Service Providers who have won the bidding.

One pundit pointed out that in both the UK and German auctions there were participants bidding who only wanted to bid up the price. They did not intend to get licenses, but they wanted to make it damned expensive for those companies who had to have 3G licenses in their own countries.

IF this was true,(and I rather doubt it), then like in any auction situation it was a very risky tactic to persue. If these shills were bidding just to get competitors to reach too far and therefore go bust and subsequently come in and pick up their competitor on the cheap, then it could still be argued that market forces still work. The new guys can buy cheap and lower the prices to the consumer and just like in any business the pioneers have taken the greatest risk.

It appears that Asia will probably award licenses on technical merit.

God forbid that any government should decide on, and enforce the technical merit of a freemarket activity. I don't say that they might not try, I just shudder at the thought. Their function is to ensure a level playing field where appropiate and put a stop to illegal practices.(Microsoft?)

Probably the only alternative to an open auction is what has been descibed as a "beauty contest". In countries that have vast tracts of land dotted with sparse populations outside of the cities, then a case can be made for fixing a lower price and then selecting a service provider on its proposed plan for the whole of the country and not just the most profitable bits.

This situation would not apply in the cases of UK and Germany, but maybe in say places like Sweden, Norway and even the USA?

Time will tell of course, but in the case of the UK, I guess I am content for the government to have a rather unexpected 30 billion dollar bonus to tuck away for spending on things like the National Health Service.

A form of "tax" it may be, but we all know that in life there are only two things that we can be sure of ............;o)



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