A report from Poland says the government is set to announce the start of the long-awaited auction of 5G-capable 3.5GHz licences in the next few weeks. Puls Biznesu writes that the Office of Electronic Communications (Urzad Komunikacji Elektronicznej, UKE) will soon invite applications for four concessions, with spectrum now expected to be allocated in the fourth quarter, missing the original August deadline.
Following an initial public consultation in December 2022, last month UKE kicked off a second consultation process, having increased the spectrum offered by each licence from 80MHz to 100MHz while keeping the reserve price for each block at PLN450 million (USD108 million). At the same time, network coverage obligations were reduced.
TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that the lack of 3.5GHz licences has not stopped Polish cellcos launching 5G. Orange, Play, T-Mobile and Plus all switched on commercial networks between May and July 2020, using their existing spectrum holdings in the 2100MHz and 2600MHz bands. Among EU countries, only Poland and the Netherlands have failed to award 3.5GHz concessions to support 5G.