knowledge centre

Spectrum Newsletter – June 2017

Giulio Sinibaldi Research Analyst

Spectrum Newsletter – June 2017

This edition of the Spectrum Newsletter for April–June 2017 highlights spectrum auction activity in four regions worldwide.

Notable auctions during this period include the following countries.

  • Ireland. The Commission for Communications Regulation (Comreg) assigned 350MHz of the 3.6GHz frequency band, divided into national, urban and rural lots, raising a total of EUR60.5 (USD69.5) million upfront and EUR17.7 (USD19.9) million of spectrum usage fees. The national regulatory authority (NRA) aims to increase mobile broadband coverage and help operators trial and adopt 5G technologies.
  • Saudi Arabia. The Saudi regulator auctioned two pairs of contiguous spectrum blocks, 2×25MHz in FDD 700MHz and 2×33MHz in the FDD 1800MHz bands. Thanks to this issuance, the spectrum available for mobile services increased by 35%.
  • Singapore. The Info-communications Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA) raised SGD1.15 billion (USD817 million) licensing 175MHz of spectrum in the 700MHz, 900MHz, 2.6GHz bands. All four of the country’s mobile operators participated and won at least 10MHz. The presence of a fourth bidder, TPG, drove up the value of all lots auctioned.

The following regions and associated topics are covered.

The Americas (Latin America and North America)

  • Verizon acquired XO Communications for USD1.8 billion and Straight Path Communications for USD3.1 billion.
  • AT&T bought bankrupt FiberTower for an undisclosed sum.
  • The US federal government is funding a study group aimed at the 1.3MHz auction.
  • Claro, Movistar and Telecom Personal win 2.6GHz lots in Argentina.

Asia–Pacific (emerging and developed Asia–Pacific)

  • TPG and Vodafone-Hutchinson acquired 20MHz and 10MHz, respectively, of 700MHz FDD spectrum in Australia.
  • In Pakistan, Jazz won a 15-year license for 2×10 MHz of FDD 1800MHz spectrum.
  • In Nepal, Ncell and Nepal Telecom are cleared to launch 4G services.
  • In Singapore, M1, StarHub, Singtel, TPG secure licences in the 700MHz, 900MHz and 2.6GHz TDD frequency bands.

Europe (Central and Eastern Europe and Western Europe)

  • Iceland successfully auctioned 230MHz of spectrum for SK13.31 million (USD1.6 million).
  • In Ireland, incumbents and new entrants commit EUR78 (USD89.4) million for 3.6GHz frequencies.
  • Telia and Telenor won four blocks of 2×5MHz over the 900MHz spectrum band in Norway.
  • Spectrum suitable for 5G is acquired through M&A in the UK.

The Middle East and Africa

  • The NRA in Saudi Arabia, CICT, raised SAR5.38 (USD1.5) billion from 700 and 1800 MHz combinatorial clock auction.