Swiss regulatory authority the Federal Communications Commission (ComCom) has launched an invitation to tender for the award of new mobile spectrum in the 700MHz, 1400MHz, 2600MHz, and 3500MHz-3800MHz ranges, principally for 5G services, with the auction scheduled to take place in January 2019. ComCom notes that the auction has been designed so that all interested parties may participate, and that existing operators may acquire new frequencies for 5G services. Would-be participants have until 5 October to submit applications to the regulator, specifying the maximum amount of spectrum they wish to purchase within each band, along with evidence that they are able to meet the licensing requirements. Bidders are also required to submit a bank guarantee for the minimum price for their desired spectrum. ComCom added that it would not publish the names or number of applicants to minimise the potential for collusion. The licences are technology neutral and have a duration of 15 years, expiring in December 2033.
On offer are six 2×5MHz blocks of 700MHz spectrum – with a minimum price of CHF16.8 million (USD16.9 million) per block – and three 1×5MHz blocks of supplemental downlink (SDL) spectrum in the 700MHz band (CHF4.2 million). In the 1400MHz range, there are a total of 18 1×5MHz blocks of SDL frequencies available, also carrying a reserve price of CHF4.2 million per block. A single 2×5MHz block of FDD 2600MHz spectrum is also included in the tender (CHF5.8 million), though the duration of the concession is only ten years – rather than 15 – as the expiry is tied to the previous auction of 2600MHz airwaves in 2012. Finally, ComCom is making available 15 1×20MHz blocks in the 3500MHz-3800MHz range, with a base cost of CHF1.68 million per block.