knowledge centre

Spectrum Newsletter – December 2019

Roberto Kompany Senior Analyst, Research

This edition of the Spectrum Newsletter for up to December 2019 highlights the spectrum auction activity worldwide in four regions:

  • the Americas (Latin America (LATAM) and North America (NA))
  • Asia–Pacific (emerging Asia–Pacific (EMAP) and developed Asia–Pacific (DVAP))
  • Europe (Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and Western Europe (WE))
  • the Middle East and Africa (MEA).

Notable events in the period include the following.

  • Australia. The regulator announced plans to auction 2.4GHz of spectrum in the 26GHz millimetre-wave band for 5G services in 2021. However, no reserve price has been set as yet. The spectrum will be used to deliver fast broadband services in 29 cities and regional areas
  • France. The French regulator, Arcep, adopted a two-phased approach to its 5G spectrum auction strategy after some delay. Arcep is planning to sell a total of 310MHz of spectrum in the 3.4–3.8GHz bands. In the first phase, each operator will be able to acquire 50MHz of spectrum for a fixed price of EUR350 million (USD389 million). In the second phase, each operator will be able to bid for the remaining 110MHz in 10MHz blocks for a minimum price of EUR70 million (USD78 million) each. No operator may acquire more than 100MHz in total.
  • Hong Kong. The regulator awarded 200MHz of spectrum in the 3.5GHz band for 5G services in early October 2019. China Mobile Hong Kong (CMHK), HKT, SmarTone and Hutchison 3 paid USD38 million, USD32 million, USD32 million and USD26 million for 60 MHz, 50MHz, 50MHz and 40MHz of spectrum, respectively, generating a total of USD128 million in spectrum utilisation fees. The spectrum will be made available in April 2020, and will be valid for 15 years. Another spectrum auction was held in late October, and both CMHK and HKT won 40MHz of spectrum in the 4.9GHz band for USD15 million each after SmarTone and Hutchison 3 withdrew.