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Switzerland Gets Ready For 5G Spectrum Auction

Swiss telecommunications services regulator Ofcom said it aims to kick off a 5G spectrum auction this month, according to Reuters. The country’s main carriers, including Swisscom, Sunrise and Salt Mobile are expected to participate in the spectrum auction, according to the report.

OFCOM said it will conduct the auction this month and will reveal the results of the process by the second quarter of the year. The regulator did not provide further details about the auction.

The regulator said the process will follow a clock auction model, as this scheme ensures bidders can configure frequency packages which best suit their business models. This scheme lets bidders switch between frequency categories in the course of the process.

The auction covers blocks of frequencies within the 700 MHz, 1400 MHz, 2.6 GHz and 3.5 GHz ranges. The government could raise at least 220 million Swiss francs ($223 million) if bids are submitted for all the blocks on offer.

Telecom regulators in Europe are accelerating the process to award frequencies for 5G, as operators are expecting to be in a position to launch commercial 5G technology in 2020 in most European markets.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez previously confirmed that the government plans to auction spectrum in the 700 MHz band in the first quarter of 2018.

The 700 MHz band is currently utilized for Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) services but will be freed up by March 2020. DTT migration is expected to start in January 2019.

The Spanish government aims to raise up to EUR 1.05 billion (USD 1.14 billion) with the 700 MHz spectrum auction.

In September 2018, French telecoms regulator Arcep confirmed that a tender to award mobile frequencies for the provision of 5G services could take place by mid-2019.

Arcep said that the body will launch a consultation to define the terms of the future 5G action.In July, the French government had said it expects at least one major city to have commercial 5G services by 2020 as one of the key initiatives of the country’s 5G roadmap.

Italy’s Ministry of Economic Development recently completed the national 5G spectrum tender, in which the government raised a total of EUR 6.55 billion (USD 7.56 billion), more than EUR 4 billion over the minimum reserve price of EUR 2.5 billion.

During a total of 14 days of competitive bidding, local carriers Telecom Italia, Wind Tre, Vodafone Italia, Fastweb and Iliad secured spectrum in the 694-790 MHz, 26.5-27.5 GHz and 3.6-3.8 GHz bands.

Germany’s Federal Networks Agency (BNetzA) has also recently presented the draft terms for the 5G auction planned for early 2019. The body aims to award spectrum in the 2 GHz and 3.6 GHz bands.―RCRWireless News

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