Remaining Spanish 3.5GHz licences going on sale today

22 Feb 2021

Spain’s Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation (Ministerio de Asuntos Economicos y Transformacion Digital, MINECO) has announced that two remaining 3.5GHz licences will go on sale today, with Telefonica Espana (Movistar) and Orange Espana going head-to-head for the concessions. Each 1×10MHz licence will have a starting price of EUR21 million (USD25.4 million) and both spectrum permits will be valid until 2038. Following the conclusion of the tender, the watchdog notes that a reorganisation of the 3.5GHz band will be carried out, so that all operators are in possession of contiguous frequency blocks, enabling a more efficient use of the spectrum for 5G.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Spain’s first auction of 5G-suitable spectrum in the 3.6GHz-3.8GHz band successfully concluded in July 2018, generating a total of EUR437.6 million for the government, and comfortably exceeding the EUR100 million starting price established by the watchdog. Vodafone dominated the bidding, paying EUR198.1 million for 18 5MHz blocks. Orange was next in line, bidding EUR132.1 million for twelve 5MHz blocks, while Movistar offered EUR107.4 million for the remaining ten 5MHz blocks.

Going forward, the auction of 5G-suitable 700MHz licences is expected to take place later in 2021.