Sector watchdog the Luxembourg Institute of Regulation (Institut Luxembourgeois de Regulation, ILR) has opened a public consultation on the procedure for the auction of frequencies in the 700MHz and 3600MHz bands. The consultation will close on 10 April and candidates must register to take part in the auction by 25 May.
The available frequencies being auctioned comprise 2×30MHz in the 700MHz band (703MHz-733MHz), divided into six lots of 2×5MHz, and 330MHz in the 3600MHz band (3420MHz-3750MHz), divided into 13 lots of 10MHz each. Candidates will be limited to 2×10MHz in the 700MHz band and 1×120MHz in the 3600MHz band, of which at most 80MHz can be in the form of large blocks. A reserve price of EUR2.81 million (USD3.12 million) has been set for each lot of 2×5MHz spectrum in the 700MHz band and EUR300,000 for each 10MHz of 3600MHz frequencies. The frequency management rights will be for an initial period of 15 years with the possibility of a renewal for a further five years.
Winning 700MHz bidders will be required to use the assigned spectrum to ensure outdoor coverage of at least 50% of territory by 31 December 2022 and 90% by 31 December 2024. Operators awarded 3600MHz spectrum will need to deploy ten sites in the Luxembourg commune by the end of 2020, and at least 20 sites nationally by 30 June 2021, increasing to 40 by the end of 2022 and 80 by 31 December 2024.
The auction will consist of two stages. The first stage will determine the total bandwidth to be assigned to each bidder in each band by means of a SMRA-Clock-Hybrid auction format. The second stage will determine the specific frequencies within each band to be assigned to each winner of lots. The winning bidders will initially be given the opportunity to agree specific frequency assignments between themselves, on the condition ever winner receives contiguous frequencies in each band, and any potentially unsold spectrum will be retained as a contiguous block within the band. Should the winners fail to reach an agreement within a timeframe specified by the ILR, spectrum winners will be able to bid for their referred position in each band in a single round of bids.