Italy’s auction of 5G wireless spectrum has seen total bids pass the EUR6 billion (USD6.95 billion) mark, with the participants having offered a combined EUR6.22 billion by the close of bidding on Monday 1 October. The main arena of competition is still the frequencies in the 3600MHz-3800MHz band, which has attracted bids totalling EUR4.02 billion to date. Spectrum is also being sold in the 700MHz and 26GHz ranges.
The high prices are causing concern in Italy, with trade unions issuing a joint statement last week saying that the sale has gone ahead ‘without a rational analysis of the investment and hypothetical and profitable revenues’. It adds that the auction ‘could risk the business continuity of some operators’. The Italian government had expected to raise around EUR2.5 billion from the spectrum sale.