CITC to award spectrum for 5G trials; Court rejects GO appeal to suspend spectrum retrieval

23 Feb 2018

Saudi Arabia’s Communication and Information Technology Commission (CITC) is planning to issue temporary licenses to mobile operators to trial 5G technologies, the CITC’s director of frequencies Majid Al Qahtani said. Local news source Argaam writes that the CITC will grant spectrum in the 3.4GHz-3.8GHz and 3.8GHz-4.2GHz bands for the trials.

Meanwhile, in related news Etihad Atheeb (GO Telecom) has revealed that a court has rejected its appeal to suspend the CITC’s decision to retrieve the spectrum awarded to the telco in June 2017, after GO failed to pay the first instalment of the total value of allocated spectrum. Riyadh’s administrative court will now hear the company’s legal challenge which aims to revoke the CITC’s decision on 13 March, GO added. The company secured 2×10MHz in the 700MHz band, in addition to a paired 10MHz block in the 1800MHz band, for SAR2.1 billion (USD560 million), with 15-year validity (from 1 January 2018). The first instalment represented 30% of the total value of the concession, or SAR619 million.