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Seven groups submit applications for Czech 5G auction

2 Oct 2020

Telecoms regulator the Czech Telecommunication Office (CTU) has announced that it has received applications from seven groups seeking to participate in the upcoming auction of 5G spectrum in the 700MHz and 3400MHz-3600MHz bands. In a press release dated 1 October 2020, the CTU confirmed that in accordance with the Electronic Communications Act and the conditions of the tender, it ‘will not publish the names of specific candidates at this stage’. It also noted that, in respect of the legal challenges brought by the three incumbents (O2, Vodafone and T-Mobile), the Prague courts had rejected attempts to stop the auction. ‘The Office informs that all requests for the issuance of interim measures filed with the court in order to stop the selection process have already been rejected, and none of the operators has succeeded in its application at the Municipal Court in Prague,’ it confirmed.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in August this year the CTU launched a tender to award radio frequencies in the 700MHz and 3400MHz–3600MHz bands and confirmed its intention to boost competition in a market that has long faced vocal criticism from politicians and consumers for the high cost of mobile services. Following its public consultation on its proposals, the regulator highlighted a specific proposed measure to reserve a comprehensive section of 2×10MHz in the 700MHz band for new applicants for entry into the mobile market.

Reuters speculates that Czech groups Nordic Telecom and Sazka (which operates the Czech MVNO SAZKAmobil), may be looking to participate – having expressed interest in the past in the auction – while another potential bidder, central Europe’s largest listed utility CEZ, has apparently ruled itself out.

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