Spanish 5G auction kicks off today; four main players to participate

18 Jul 2018

Spain’s Ministry of Economy and Enterprise (Ministerio de Economia y Empresa, MINECO) has confirmed that the country’s auction of 200MHz of 5G-suitable spectrum in the 3.6GHz-3.8GHz band will commence at 10am today (local time). The spectrum will be divided into 40 5MHz blocks, each of which will have a starting price of EUR2.5 million (USD2.9 million), meaning that the process will generate a minimum of EUR100 million.

MINECO notes that all four mobile network operators (MNOs) – Movistar, Orange, Vodafone and Grupo MASMOVIL – have registered their participation in the auction process, although a 120MHz spectrum cap is in place. All concessions will be valid for 20 years apiece. The government agency expects to post daily updates on its website at 6pm, detailing the day’s bidding activity.

TeleGeography notes that the Spanish authorities have long endorsed these frequency bands for 5G use. Vodafone staged what it claimed was the ‘first 5G call in the world’ with Huawei in February 2018, using 3.7GHz spectrum, while Orange has disclosed plans to launch commercial 5G services in 2019, using 3.5GHz spectrum. Last month MASMOVIL acquired Neutra Network Services for EUR15.5 million, inheriting a 40MHz block of nationwide spectrum in the 3.4GHz-3.6GHz band, which it claimed would support its own 5G ambitions.