Spectrum Newsletter – April 2022

07 July 2022 | Research

Grace Langham

Newsletter | PDF (11 pages) | Wireless Infrastructure Strategies


This edition of the Spectrum Newsletter for up to the end of April 2022 highlights the spectrum auction activity in four regions worldwide:

  • 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.

  • South Africa. The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) concluded the main stage of its first spectrum auction on 21 March 2022. The International Mobile Technologies (IMT) auction for spectrum in the 700MHz, 800MHz, 2.6GHz and 3.5GHz frequencies was highly anticipated (due to a 10-year delay) and consisted of 58 rounds of bidding. The six winning bidders were Cell C, Liquid Intelligent Technologies, MTN, Rain Networks, Telkom and Vodacom. The main stage of the auction raised a total of ZAR14.5 billion (USD1.06 billion). All participants acquired spectrum in the mid bands; Rain Networks and Vodacom also won frequencies in the 700MHz band, and Telkom and MTN acquired spectrum in the 800MHz band. The next stage is the assignment round; this is when the exact spectrum portfolio for each operator is determined. This is expected to be finalised by the end of June 2022.
  • USA. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced, on 14 January 2022, the winning bidders in its auction for flexible-use 5G licences for spectrum in the 3.45GHz band. The auction was conducted with competition in mind, and 13 of the 23 winning bidders were small businesses or entities that serve rural communities. The auction raised USD22.5 billion in total. AT&T spent the most (USD9 billion), followed by Weminuche (a proxy for DISH Networks) and T-Mobile. The FCC is preparing for the upcoming 2.5GHz auction, which is set to take place on 29 July 2022.
  • India. The multi-band auction for 5G spectrum is set to take place on 27 July 2022 and is hoped to help support the launch of 5G services by the end of March 2023. Spectrum usage charges will be scrapped from July 2022 onwards, and the reserve price in the July auction will be 30–40% lower than that in the 2018 auction, as recommended by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). Spectrum in the 700MHz, 900MHz, l600MHz, 1800MHz, 2.1GHz, 2.3GHz, 3.3GHz and 26GHz bands will be available.


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