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Spectrum Newsletter – November 2018

Roberto Kompany Senior Analyst, Research

This edition of the Spectrum Newsletter for August–October 2018 highlights spectrum auction activity worldwide in four regions.

Notable auctions during this period include the following.

  • Italy: In October, the 5G auction of the 700MHz, 3.6GHz and 26GHz bands in Italy raised EUR6.55 billion (USD7.58 billion). The spend per MHz per member of the population for the 700MHz band was lower than that for the 800MHz band for 4G in 2011. For the C-band, however, the price paid was USD0.42 per MHz per member of the population, which was significantly higher than in other recent auctions, such as those in South Korea, Spain and the UK, where operators paid USD0.19, USD0.13 and USD0.16, respectively.
  • Mexico: The 2.5GHz band spectrum tender made in July will deliver a total of MXN46.5 billion (USD2.2 billion) to the Mexican government over 20 years. USD2.1 billion of this will be from annual fees. The operators AT&T and Movistar paid a total of USD100 million in up-front costs.
  • USA: The FCC plans to free 500MHz of spectrum in the 3.7GHz–4.2GHz band for 5G mobile broadband and has enlisted fixed satellite service providers to certify the accuracy of existing registration and licence information.

The following regions and associated topics are covered.

The Americas (Latin America and North America)

  • Brazil clears the 700MHz band in Sao Paolo and initiates a consultation on the 2.3GHz band for 5G services.
  • Chile opens a consultation period for input into the national 5G strategy.
  • The sale of the 2.5GHz band delivered an initial USD100 million to the Mexican government plus a planned total of USD2.1 billion over a 20-year period.
  • Peru drafts regulation for spectrum refarming with additional coverage obligations.
  • The Federal Communications Commission plans to move ahead with the mmWave auction in November 2018.
  • The FCC proposes to free additional spectrum in the 3.7–4.2GHz bands for 5G.

Asia–Pacific (emerging and developed Asia–Pacific)

  • ACMA announced plans for a spectrum auction in the 3.6GHz band including caps.
  • In India, the TRAI announced recommendations for spectrum auctions, including for 5G bands.
  • Hong Kong announced a 5G spectrum consultation and has plans for an auction in December
  • Thailand’s NBTC cancels its spectrum auction and plans for a new auction in September

Europe (Central and Eastern Europe and Western Europe)

  • Albania’s regulator issues a tender for 800MHz spectrum.
  • Finland successfully held a 3.5GHz auction in October and raised USD90 million.
  • France opens a call for the reallocation of 4G spectrum.
  • Germany will auction 3.4–3.7GHz spectrum in early 2019 and will reserve 100MHz in the C-band for industrial 5G use.
  • Italy raises USD7.58 billion from the 5G auction in October 2018, but this is less than that raised for 4G bands in 2011.
  • Lithuania plans to consult on the 5G 3.5GHz bands again, and is hoping to have a 700MHz auction in 2022.
  • Portugal plans to free-up 700MHz spectrum for use in 5G services by 2020.
  • Sweden started the 700MHz auction process, and the auction is set for December .

The Middle East and Africa

  • Mozambique plans to hold a 4G spectrum auction before 2019.
  • South Africa plans to hold a 5G spectrum auction by September 2019.