Spectrum Newsletter – February 2024

14 February 2024 | Research

Grace Langham

Newsletter | PDF (13 pages) | Wireless Infrastructure Strategies


This edition of the Spectrum Newsletter for up to the end of January 2024 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.

  • Latvia. On 9 November 2023, Latvia’s Public Utilities Commission (PUC) concluded its 5G spectrum auction for frequencies in the 3.5GHz band, where a total of 50MHz of spectrum was available to participants. The auction raised USD589 050 in total after two rounds of bidding. Two mobile operators, Latvijas Mobilais Telefons and Tele2 Latvia, each acquired 25MHz of spectrum. Both operators paid USD294 525 (which was over the reserve price of USD250 000). Participants were allowed to acquire a maximum of 25MHz of spectrum in the auction and a maximum of 125MHz of 3.5GHz overall. Spectrum licences will be valid for a 20-year period from 1 January 2024 to 31 December 2043.
  • Poland. On 18 October 2023, the Office of Electronic Communications (UKE) in Poland announced the results of its spectrum auction in the 3.5GHz band. The auction lasted 17 rounds of bidding over 3 days and raised USD456 million in total. Each of the four qualifying operators (Polkomtel), P4 (Play), Orange and T-Mobile acquired 100MHz of spectrum. Polkomtel paid the reserve price (USD107 million), while P4 and Orange Polska paid USD116 million each. T-Mobile Poland paid the most at USD118 million. Winning bidders are required to launch a minimum of 700 base stations using the allocated frequencies by the end of 2025.
  • Namibia. On 4 October 2023, the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) published the results of its spectrum auction for frequencies in the 700MHz and 800MHz bands. A total of 120MHz of spectrum was awarded across the two bands to three operators, Loc8 Mobile, Telecom Namibia and Mobile Telecommunications Company (MTC), raising a total of USD1.5 million. Spectrum was assigned as three separate lots: Lot A (2×20MHz of 703–723MHz paired with 758–778MHz), Lot B (2×10MHz of 723–733MHz paired with 778–788MHz and 2×10MHz of 791–801MHz paired with 832–842MHz) and Lot C (2×20MHz of 801–821MHz paired with 842–862MHz). Loc8 Mobile acquired Lot A, paying USD271 250, Telecom Namibia acquired Lot B and paid USD816 250 (three times the reserve price) and MTC won Lot C paying USD423 280.
  • Canada. On 24 November 2023, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) completed its spectrum auction for regional licences in the residual 3.8GHz band (3.65–3.9GHz). The auction involved 22 participants and lasted 98 rounds of bidding over 21 days. 95% of available licences were sold (4099 licences, including 870 licences to small and regional providers) to 20 bidders, raising USD1.58 billion. National operator Telus acquired the most licences and paid USD464 million, followed by Bell which paid USD388 million.
  • Australia. On 21 November 2023, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) concluded its spectrum auction for regional licences in the 3.4GHz and 3.7GHz bands. A total of 588 lots of spectrum were available. The auction raised USD474 million in total. Four participants acquired spectrum including Telstra, Mobile joint venture (JV) (a wholly-owned subsidiary of TPG Telecom), NBN Co and Optus. 

    In the 3.7GHz band auction, 253 of the 260 lots were sold, raising USD457.1 million in total. In the 3.4GHz band auction, 293 of 300 lots were sold, raising USD16.9 million. National operator, Telstra paid the most at USD358 million for 362 lots of spectrum across the 3.4GHz and 3.7GHz bands. This was followed by Mobile TV which spent USD84 million for 44 lots of 3.7GHz spectrum. NBN Co acquired 200 lots of spectrum in the 3.4GHz band and paid USD22 million and Optus acquired four lots of 3.7GHz spectrum and paid USD10 million.


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