3G rollout and services took a ridiculous time to arrive.
The market for mobile Internet access here still suffers from this...
4G LTE rollout in the UK was and is painfully slow. The only good thing was that a lot of networks had very good coverage of HSPA+ and DC-HSPDA which is pretty close to LTE responsiveness in day to day use.
So when real 4g (LTE) arrived, European providers had more incentive to roll out for marketing reasons.
This might be half remembered bs though.
"The German telecom auction subsequently raised even more in cash terms (although less per head of population) ..."
The 'forever' licenses also can't be resold (although the entire company owning them can merge). That means if in the future another technology which completes with 3G so incumbents don't want to get involved comes along and could make great use of that spectrum, it won't get use.
Edit: after a bit of googling it looks like the licences will be re-tendered in 2021
He found it very funny how each participant turned up with teams of Nobel prize winning economists and mathematicians.
He said the correct way to approach such an auction is to decide up front what the value is to you and then bid up to but not beyond that figure. That is all. There are plenty of foolish things you can do but nothing better.
That's the tricky part ;)
With respects paid to Paul Milgrom who designed this auction!