Slovenia’s Agency for Communications Networks & Services (Agencija za komunikacijska omrezja in storitve, AKOS) has laid out a number of requirements for winning bidders in its long-awaited auction of 5G spectrum, which is expected to take place later this year. The regulator is planning to sell 5G-capable spectrum in the 700MHz, 3.6GHz and 26GHz ranges, as well as complementary frequencies at 1500MHz and 2.3GHz, while at the same time offering up spectrum in the 2100MHz band which is currently included in licences due to expire in September 2021. Winning bidders are required to have 5G services in at least one major city within one year of the licence awards, and be using all acquired frequencies within five years to provide coverage of all major cities. The 700MHz band carries additional coverage requirements, including 99% of motorways and 60% of all train lines and main roads by December 2025.
In an effort to promote competition in the market, AKOS has also set spectrum caps as part of the sale which include new and existing licences. Each bidder will be limited to: 2×35MHz across the 700MHz, 800MHz and 900MHz bands; 190MHz of unpaired frequencies in the 2.3GHz and 3.6GHz bands; 800MHz unpaired at 26GHz; and 425MHz combined in the 700MHz, 2100MHz, 2.3GHz and 3.6GHz ranges, including pre-existing rights of use in the 800MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz and 2.6GHz bands.
Operators with less than 2×30MHz spectrum below 1GHz will be required to provide bit rates of at least 10Mbps downstream and 2Mbps upstream, while licensees with more than 2×30MHz below 1GHz will need to offer rates of at least 30Mbps/3Mbps (down/up). All licences will be technology neutral.
State-backed fixed and mobile operator Telekom Slovenije recently launched the country’s first commercial 5G network using its existing 2600MHz spectrum.