Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez has indicated that the government intends to auction spectrum in the 694MHz-790MHz (‘700MHz’) band in the first quarter of 2019, with a view to supporting the country’s 5G deployments. The spectrum – referred to as the ‘second digital dividend band’ – is currently utilised for Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) services, but will be freed up by March 2020. Mr Sanchez made the claims during the closing ceremony of the XXI Congreso Nacional del Instituto de Empresa Familiar event, Europa Press reports.
TeleGeography notes that the planned sale process will represent the second auction of 5G-suitable spectrum in Spain. In July 2018 the Ministry of Economy and Enterprise (Ministerio de Economia y Empresa, MINECO) generated EUR437.6 million (USD495.8 million) through the sale of 3.6GHz-3.8GHz spectrum. Vodafone Spain dominated the bidding, paying EUR198.1 million for 18 5MHz blocks. Orange Espana was next in line, bidding EUR132.1 million for twelve 5MHz blocks, while Telefonica Espana (Movistar) offered EUR107.4 million for the remaining ten 5MHz blocks. All concessions are valid for 20 years.