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Spectrum Newsletter - September 2018

Roberto Kompany Senior Analyst, Research

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

Notable auctions during this period include the following.

  • Spain: The spectrum auction held in July 2018 for 200MHz within the 3.6–3.8GHz band generated USD513 million after 4 days of bidding. The minimum price set was USD116 million.
  • South Korea: The MSIT confirmed in June 2018 that it raised USD3.3 billion from the three national mobile network operators (MNOs), which won a total of 280MHz in the 3.5GHz and 2.4GHz in the 28GHz bands in two rounds. The first of these auctions determined the quantity of spectrum that each operator received and the second established the position of the spectrum.
  • UK: In April, Ofcom announced that all four of the country’s MNOs had secured new frequencies in the 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz bands for 4G and 5G mobile technologies, respectively.

The following regions and associated topics are covered.

The Americas (Latin America and North America)

  • Argentina’s low-band auction is expected to raise USD800 million for the government.
  • In June 2018, the Canadian regulator proposed a variety of different 5G bands to be auctioned between 2019 and 2021.
  • Mexico will clear the 600MHz band by early 2019.
  • The US Federal Communications Commission will move ahead with mmWave auction in November 2018.
  • The FCC in the USA proposes to make additional spectrum in 3.7GHz to 4.2GHz bands available for 5G.

Asia–Pacific (emerging and developed Asia–Pacific)

  • The Australian regulator ACMA announced plans for a consultation in the 3.6GHz band and is planning an auction in October 2018.
  • The MIIT, the Chinese regulator, launched a consultation on the mid- and high-band 5G spectrum in June 2018.
  • Hong Kong Telecom is calling on the territory’s regulator to release 5G spectrum sooner than 2020.
  • COAI, the Indian mobile industry group, wants to delay 5G auctions.
  • India’s DoT orders 5G spectrum to be vacated.
  • South Korea held a successful spectrum auction for the 3.5GHz and 28GHz bands, raising USD3.3 billion.
  • Thailand’s NBTC cancelled its spectrum auction in June 2018, but is planning a new auction in September 2018.
  • Beeline in Uzbekistan relinquished spectrum in the 900MHz and 1800MHz bands.

Europe (Central and Eastern Europe and Western Europe)

  • Denmark began a consultation on the 700, 900 and 2300MHz spectrum bands in March 2018, aiming for an auction in late 2018.
  • Italy plans to raise USD2.9 billion from a 5G auction in September 2018.
  • The Italian fixed operator Fastweb acquired 3.5GHz spectrum from Tiscali in July 2018.
  • Lithuania’s regulator launched a consultation in April on C-band spectrum for 5G.
  • Romania announced a spectrum auction for the end of 2019.
  • Spain successfully auctioned 5G spectrum in the 3.6–3.8GHz band in July 2018, raising USD513 million.
  • In the UK, Ofcom successfully auctioned 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz bands for USD1.7 billion.
  • Ukraine auctioned 30MHz of the 1800MHz for USD170 million while guaranteeing a further 120MHz between the country’s three MNOs for USD130 million.

The Middle East and Africa

  • The UAE telecoms regulator TRA proposes a series of spectrum bands in line with the ITU for 5G deployments.