Austria kicks off 5G spectrum auction

27 Feb 2019

The Regulatory Authority for Broadcasting & Telecoms (RTR) has confirmed that Austria’s 5G spectrum auction is underway, reports Der Standard, citing a spokesperson from the regulator. A total of 390MHz in the 3.4GHz-3.8GHz band is available; spectrum licences are 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.

In the clock rounds the spectrum 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 (USD34 million).