The ninth day of competitive bidding in Italy’s auction of 5G mobile frequencies saw offers reach a total of EUR5.15 billion (USD6.06 billion) yesterday (Tuesday 25 September). The figure is more than twice the minimum reserve price, and while this will be welcomed by the government, it could signal bad news for consumers, with telcos likely to pass on the licence costs via higher tariffs.
Most of the action is concentrated on the 3700MHz band, which has so far attracted offers of almost EUR2.95 billion for the four available blocks. Leading the way at the end of day nine were Vodafone and TIM, with bids of EUR1.31 billion and EUR1.30 billion, respectively, for 80MHz blocks of 3700MHz spectrum. Meanwhile, Wind Tre and Iliad are the current highest bidders for two 20MHz packages in the same band, with respective offers of EUR238 million and EUR102 million.
The sale of 700MHz frequencies concluded in the first week of the auction, having raised a total of EUR2.04 billion, while all five participants – TIM, Vodafone, Wind Tre, Iliad and Fastweb – have submitted the highest bids for the five tranches of frequencies being sold in the 26GHz range.