Israel is said to be preparing for a sale of more 5G-suitable frequencies as early as the second half of this year, according to Reuters, as the government seeks to boost the economy via new technologies, while giving mobile network operators (MNOs) a new revenue stream. With the authorities having previously sold spectrum in the 700MHz, 2600MHz and 3.5GHz bands at auction in 2019, the report cites Tal Elimelech, who heads the Ministry of Communications’ (MoC’s) 5G project, as saying that the current plan is to offer frequencies above 24GHz either late in 2021 or early in 2022.
Meanwhile, it is understood that, as in the last spectrum sale, incentives such as government grants will be provided to MNOs to participate in the process. Further, it has been suggested that the amounts expected to be raised for state coffers from any sale process will be well below the sums generated by similar frequency auctions in Europe. Indeed, according to Elimelech, more important to the MoC that raising significant sums from any frequency sale is the investment in 5G infrastructure by operators and the resultant applications that will benefit sectors such as public health, agriculture and education. ‘This is the main profit … It’s not just one-time income from selling the spectrum,’ Elimelech was cited as saying in the wake of a conference by the MoC aimed at creating a 5G ecosystem between telcos and the high-tech industry.