Austria’s Regulatory Authority for Broadcasting & Telecoms (RTR) has completed its delayed 5G auction of spectrum in the 700MHz, 1500MHz and 2100MHz bands, raising a total of EUR201.9 million (USD239.1 million). The allocation of licences was originally expected to take place in April but was postponed in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of 27 blocks were up for sale, including six blocks in the 700MHz band, twelve in the 2100MHz range and nine in the 1500MHz band.
T-Mobile Austria (Magenta Telekom) was the highest bidder, paying a total of EUR86.7 million for 2×20MHz of 700MHz spectrum, 20MHz in the 1500MHz band (plus 10MHz which was assigned to the cellco but has ‘restricted usage’) and 2×15MHz of 2100MHz spectrum. A1 Telekom Austria did not secure 700MHz spectrum, but will pay EUR65.6 million for 30MHz of frequencies in the 1500MHz band and 2×25MHz in the 2100MHz range. Finally, Hutchison Drei Austria won 2×10MHz of 700MHz spectrum, 30MHz in the 1500MHz band and 2×20MHz of 2100MHz frequencies for a total of EUR49.6 million.
In total 1,702 out of 2,100 underserved or unserved communities will receive mobile broadband coverage by 2027, under commitments attached to the 700MHz spectrum licences. Hutchison Drei will supply 738 communities, followed by T-Mobile Austria (Magenta Telekom) with 615, and A1 with 349. Through the RTR’s ‘bonus system’ – whereby operators were able to secure a reduction in the spectrum price if they agreed to cover additional underserved areas – a further 802 communities will also be supplied.