I was recently in Germany attending a wedding. I love many things from Germany – not the weather, though – including how well they usually do things. If you want a good car you either buy a Toyota or a German car – and recently Toyota has been having a lot of issues with claims of pedals malfunctioning and such so Germans are eating the biggest piece of the cake – , Lufthansa is one of the most reliable airlines I have traveled with – they would be the perfect airline if they had a newer air-fleet and I could watch movies with a touch screen in every long distance flight they offer – , etc.

I was very pleased recently to read in the news that Germany has taken a first big step towards 4G wireless Internet by becoming the first country in Europe to auction off a chunk of spectrum to deliver the new high-speed services.

From IEEE Spectrum Magazine:

The mobile communications spectrum auction in Germany, which ended with little fanfare last week, raised nearly €4.4 billion ($5.4 billion). While the German government can be happy over every additional euro it receives, the total falls far short of the €50 billion generated in the UMTS auction held at the height of the Internet bubble in 2000. Even experts expected more. The accounting firm KMPG, for instance, estimated that the auction would pull in €6 billion to €8 billion.

The German government auctioned a total 358.8 MHz of paired and unpaired spectrum in the 800 MHz, 1.2 GHz, 2 GHz and 2.6 GHz bands. In all, it sold a total 41 blocks to Germany’s for existing operators: Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone, Telefonica’s O2 and Royal KPN’s E-Plus. The first three of these operators gobbled up the 800 MHz frequencies, the so-called “Digital Dividend” bands, which had been used for analog TV. The lower frequencies are coveted by operators for two big reasons: wider geographic coverage and better in-building penetration. Both of those benefits convert directly into cost savings – fewer base stations to cover larger cells and no need for picocells and other systems to amplify signals indoors.