SRFC amends 4G 2.5GHz band auction rules

13 Jan 2015

Russia’s State Radio Frequency Commission (SRFC) has said it will ‘make adjustments’ to the terms and conditions of the planned auction of 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) licences in the 2570MHz-2620MHz band. Originally, the regulator had intended to auction off two lots of spectrum on a federation-wide basis, but in a change of heart the SRFC now plans to instruct the Federal Service for Supervision of IT & Comms (Roskomnadzor) to auction off all 82 lots of spectrum: one block on a federal basis, and now one block a regional basis across Russia, which can be purchased as required by network operators to meet their needs. However, the SRFC notes that some areas have been excluded from the region-specific classification, namely: Moscow, Moscow region, the Crimea and Sevastopol.

In July 2014 the SRFC instructed Roskomnadzor to organise the terms and conditions for the auctioning off of 2.5GHz band 4G licences no later than Q4 2014 – the first time the country has embarked on a cash auction. Initially, the authorities intended to divide up the bandwidth into blocks of 25MHz each, which would be awarded in two all-Russian bands. However, the industry reacted unfavourably and demanded the right to trade lots between regions (i.e. for areas not seen as strategic to their future business) and/or to conduct regional auctions to allow new entrants to enter the sector.