Spectrum Newsletter – July 2020
This edition of the Spectrum Newsletter for up to the end of May 2020 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.
- Several telecoms operators in Europe had planned to hold spectrum auctions between March and June 2020, but most of these have now been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A few regulators, such as Austria’s Telekom-Control-Kommission (TKK), are planning to hold the auctions later in 2020, but not all have given dates.
- Several authorities issued temporary licences for additional spectrum during COVID-19-related lockdowns in anticipation of heavier network usage. These included those in Ecuador, Ireland, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and the USA.
- The telecoms regulator in Singapore, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), announced its decision to allocate 100MHz of spectrum in the 3.5GHz band to each of Singtel and the joint-venture company between StarHub and M1 for a price of USD39 million.
- The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted in April 2020 on draft rules to permit the 6GHz band (between 5.925GHz and 7.125GHz) to be used by unlicensed devices. This will increase the bandwidth available to Wi-Fi devices, especially in indoor environments where the rules will allow low-power devices to utilise the full 1200MHz bandwidth. Higher-powered devices can utilise only 850MHz of the total bandwidth in the outdoor environment.