February 27, 2021

The 700 Mhz band for 5G will go up for auction in Spain for 1,170 million


The auction, key to the deployment of 5G technology.

The auction, key to the deployment of 5G technology.
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The Government has made public this Wednesday the conditions that must govern the auction of the 700 MHz frequencies, one of the priority bands for the 5G rollout and whose tender is scheduled for the first quarter of 2021, for which a total starting price of 1,170 million euros.

In a statement, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation has reported the start of a public consultation on the conditions of the process, the first to be carried out for a frequency auction and that will be open until next January 17.

It also adds that the conditions will be voluntarily submitted to peer review this Thursday within the Radio Spectrum Policy Group (RSPG) of the European Union, whose objective is for member states to exchange experiences and good practices. on the process of assigning the frequencies of the radioelectric spectrum.

Specifically, the Spanish Government will auction eight frequency blocks: a 2×10 MHz concession, four 2×5 MHz concessions, in the paired band 703-733 MHz and 758-788 MHz and three 5 MHz concessions for only downstream communications in the band 738-753 MHz.

The starting price for the auction has been set at 340 million euros for the 2×10 MHz block and 200 million euros for each of the four 2×5 MHz blocks. In the case of the three 5 MHz blocks for link only descending the price will be 10 million euros each.

The Secretary of State for Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructures explains that for setting the starting price, the precedents of the award prices obtained in the previous processes for the 800 MHz and 3.5 GHz bands have been taken into account.

The main reason for this is the limited spectrum available in this frequency band, 30 MHz paired; the limit set on the number of frequencies to be used by the same operator or business group aimed at promoting competition and the current reality of the telecommunications market in Spain “, it has an impact.

Hedging obligations

On the other hand, the text proposes to establish a model of coverage requirements which must be achieved within a period of three years from the formalization of the concession and which establishes two levels, a first mandatory for concessionaires of the 2×5 MHz blocks and a second for additional requirements for the 2×10 MHz block.

Specifically, the winning operators will have to provide coverage in this frequency band to all populations with more than 50,000 inhabitants, reaching 50% of these populations in the first year of validity of the concession, 75% the second year and 100% the third.

Further, They must give coverage in this frequency band to all the provincial capitals and all the capitals of the autonomous communities; to all highways, expressways and multi-lane highways owned by the State or the autonomous communities and to the passenger railway stations of high-speed lines.

For its part, the operator that is awarded the 2×10 MHz block will also have the additional obligation to provide coverage in this frequency band to all populations with more than 20,000 inhabitants, reaching 25% of these in the first year of validity of the concession, 60% in the second year and 100% in the third.

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