Austria invites applications for upcoming 5G spectrum auction

20 Sep 2018

Austria’s Telecom Control Commission (TKK) has published the tender document for the auction of 5G frequencies in the 3.4GHz-3.8GHz band and has invited interested parties to participate in the tender, which is scheduled to take place in February 2019. Under the tender rules, the spectrum licences will be valid for 20 years until 31 December 2039 and will be divided into twelve regions to give local broadband providers the opportunity to enter the high-speed mobile internet market. The frequencies are assigned technology neutral, but the product design offers flexibility to adapt the terms of use to future 5G standards. The auction consists of two phases: the award phase, during which parties will bid in several clock rounds for the desired amount of MHz in the twelve regions; and the assignment phase, during which the winners of the award phase then bid for the actual blocks that they need within the 3410MHz-3600MHz and 3600MHz-3800MHz bands. In terms of coverage obligations, depending on the spectrum range and the region, a successful bidder must provide services to up to 1,000 locations, around a third of them by the end of 2020.

A total of 390MHz is available in each of the twelve regions; in the clock rounds the cap for A1 Telekom Austria and T-Mobile Austria is 150MHz and for all others 170MHz. If spectrum remains after the clock rounds and there is another bidding round, the restrictions can be loosened; if there are no competition concerns, the absolute maximum is 160MHz for A1 and 190MHz for all others (in each region). The total of the minimum bids is EUR30 million, considerably lower than the EUR530 million of the 2013 multi-band auction.

‘This time we have done a lot differently,’ noted the regulator’s chief Johannes Gungl, adding: ‘The auction of this 5G pioneer band is not comparable to the last multi-band auction. We achieved to create the best conditions for 5G in the sense of Austria’s government programme and we lay the optimal basis for Austria’s economy.’

Austria, Telecom Control Commission (TKK)