Slovakian fixed and mobile operator Orange is looking to bolster its 5G frequency holdings by acquiring 20MHz of spectrum in the 3.5GHz band from fixed and fixed-wireless provider SWAN. A report from Zive.sk says that SWAN has agreed to transfer its rights to 3490MHz-3510MHz frequencies to Orange, with the licence valid until end-August 2025. In mid-2019 Orange acquired 2×20MHz of spectrum in the 3.5GHz range from another licensee, Slovanet. Rival cellco O2 has a licence for 2×20MHz in the same band which hit bought in July 2015, while market leader Slovak Telekom also has access to 3.5GHz spectrum, but only in the Bratislava area.
The government of Slovakia launched its 5G auction on 31 March, with plans to award frequencies in the 700MHz, 900MHz and 1800MHz bands. The 60MHz of sought-after 700MHz frequencies will be sold in six 2×5MHz blocks, with each carrying a reserve price of EUR16 million with a validity of 20 years. A limit of 2×15MHz per operator will apply to ensure that there are at least two winners.
Separately, Slovanet has agreed to lease frequencies in the 3.6GHz-3.8GHz range from Towercom, with the spectrum covering the districts of Banska Bystrica, Liptovsky Mikulas, Nitra, Nove Mesto nad Vahom, Presov, Poprad, Trencin, Trnava and Zilina. Slovanet plans to use the spectrum for fixed-wireless TD-LTE services.