Germany’s Federal Network Agency (FNA) has published for public consultation a position paper on the future allocation of certain mobile radio frequencies, with the aim of balancing the interests of established mobile operators with those of potential new market entrants. At the end of 2025 the allocations for the usage rights for spectrum in 800MHz, 1800MHz and 2600MHz bands will expire, and the regulator is aiming to give all market participants investment and planning security at an early stage as to how the frequencies will be made available again.
The FNA’s position paper outlines initial assessments of the further allocation procedure: due to the scarcity of frequencies, the FNA prefers an award process, specifically an auction, but for the 800MHz band, it proposes a ‘frequency swap’, whereby the existing usage rights would expire at the end of 2033, rather than 2025, while the usage rights for the 900MHz band would expire at the end of 2025 rather than 2033 and would then be assigned at the earlier date. The regulator states that this move would secure the existing LTE coverage based on 800MHz frequencies in the longer term, but would also enable newcomers to obtain spectrum in the range below 1GHz.
Interested parties have until 21 November 2021 to submit comments on the position paper.