Slovakia launches 5G auction in the 700 MHz band

On the last day of March, the Slovak regulator published a call for participants in a 5G spectrum auction. Besides the 2×30 MHz in the 700 MHz – a pioneer band for 5G networks – the regulator will distribute also some unused spectrum in the 900 MHz and 1800 MHz band. Applicants can submit their offers by 25 May 2020.

The regulator has scheduled the auction in line with the EU-wide plan to award the spectrum by mid-2020. The so-called second digital dividend in the 700 MHz band will serve for the development of 5G networks. For this purpose, the Slovak regulator will distribute 2×30 MHz for twenty years.

All four established MNOs shall have an equal chance to acquire this valuable resource. Although the junior operator Swan Mobile, who entered the market as the fourth and operates under the brand name 4ka, hoped to get a priority reservation.

The only limitation for acquiring the spectrum is the cap of 2×15 MHz per operator. This way, the regulator wants to prevent spectrum hoarding and at the same time offer liberal competitive conditions during the auction.

Off course, the success in the auction will also depend on financial standing of the bidders. One 2×5 MHz block starts at €16m.

As an auction format, the regulator chose a hybrid of an SMRA and clock auction.

In addition to the 5G band, the auctioneer will also distribute 2×4.2 MHz in the 900 MHz band and 2×9 MHz in the 1800 MHz band.

The resources in the 900 MHz spectrum in band make one block, starting at the reserve price of €840,000. The available spectrum in the 1800 MHz band sells for €550,000 per each of the three 2×3 MHz blocks.

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