Dense Air committed to 3.6GHz band; in talks over 5G access

1 Oct 2019

Dense Air Portugal, a subsidiary of Slough-based network densification specialist/small cell wholesale provider Dense Air, has signed an agreement with the municipal council of Cascais, which will see it launch a 5G proof-of-concept smart city network. The 5G network will leverage small cells using spectrum in the 3.6GHz band and has focused attention on the telco’s substantial holdings in the much-coveted 5G-suitable range.

TeleGeography understands that Dense Air is in possession of three 2×28MHz blocks of 3.6GHz spectrum, following its acquisition of previous licence holder Broadband Portugal (BBP); the National Communications Authority (Autoridade Nacional de Comunicacoes, ANACOM) sanctioned the company’s name change on 24 April 2019. The 15-year concessions run from August 2010 until August 2025. Dense Air managing director Tony Boyle confirmed to Portuguese business daily Jornal Economico that his company has no intention of relinquishing its frequencies but has staged discussions with ANACOM with a view to giving the country’s mobile operators access to the band.

TeleGeography notes that Dense Air has built up 5G-suitable spectrum holdings in a number of notable markets (New Zealand, Ireland, Australia, Belgium and Portugal) in recent years and seeks to roll out a series of open-access wholesale networks across its target markets, supported by small cells. The Australian and Irish licences were won at auction, while the other concessions were acquired via in-market transactions. In Belgium, the company acquired 2.6GHz spectrum holder Voyacom and in New Zealand it acquired 2.6GHz spectrum management rights from Blue Reach and Cayman Wireless.