Poland’s UKE opens 3.5GHz consultation

10 Dec 2019

The Polish telecoms regulator, the Office of Electronic Communications (Urzad Komunikacji Elektronicznej, UKE), has opened its consultation into its planned auction of four licences in the 3.4GHz-3.8GHz band. The watchdog is proposing to set a starting price of PLN450 million (USD116 million) for each of the 80MHz concessions, meaning the sale would raise a minimum of PLN1.8 billion. Earlier speculation had put the reserve price at closer to PLN250 million per licence.

The UKE says it wants to award the four licences by mid-2020. Under the current proposals, winning bidders will be expected to launch services over at least ten transmitters in one city within six months of the award date, rising to 250 transmitters by end-2023 and 500 transmitters by end-2025. A report from Telko.in notes that these coverage requirements are fairly relaxed considering that a network to cover the capital Warsaw would need around 200 transmitters.

With four permits available and four major cellcos in Poland, the main focus of the bidding is likely to be on the geographical range of the licences. While concessions A (3480MHz-3560MHz) and B (3560MHz-3640MHz) offer full nationwide coverage, licences C (3640MHz-3720MHz) and D (3720MHz-3800MHz) come with certain geographic restrictions where spectrum has not yet been freed up.