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Radio Czech: Government Readies 3.7GHz Auction

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By Pete BellJun 19, 2017

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The Czech Republic is set to auction spectrum in the 3.7GHz band (3600MHz-3800MHz), which can be used for future 5G mobile services.

200MHz of Spectrum

The regulator, the Czech Telecommunication Office, is offering 200MHz of frequencies split into five 40MHz blocks. They’ve set a reserve price of CZK145 million ($5.9 million) per block following analysis of the prices reached by auctions for similar frequencies in other European countries.

In May of this year, the Irish regulator ComReg sold off five lots of spectrum in the 3.5GHz-3.7GHz range, raising a total of EUR60.4 million for the 15-year concessions.

Six Bidders

Seven companies initially lined up to participate in the Czech sale, including all four of the nation’s mobile network operators–Vodafone Czech Republic, T-Mobile Czech Republic, O2 Czech Republic, and Nordic Telecom–as well as prospective new entrants PODA, Suntel Net, and Radio Spectrum CZ.

It was later announced that Radio Spectrum CZ had failed to make it through the evaluation stage, leaving six firms vying for five licenses. (It seems like Radio Spectrum CZ failed to pay the required deposit in time.)

Established operators are restricted to acquiring a single 40MHz block, while new players will be able to purchase a total of 80MHz.

Augmenting Existing Spectrum

The three main cellcos in the Czech Republic–T-Mobile, O2, and Vodafone–already control a large swathe of frequencies in bands between 800MHz and 2.6GHz, which they use for 2G, 3G, and 4G services. Nordic Telecom operates a CDMA2000 system in the 450MHz band.

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According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, at the end of March 2017, the country was home to more than 14.7 million mobile users, with T-Mobile claiming around 41 percent of the market, O2 with 33 percent, Vodafone with 25 percent, and Nordic Telecom with just 1 percent.

 

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Pete Bell

Pete Bell

Pete Bell is a Research Analyst for TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database and also contributes to the daily CommsUpdate newsletter. He has a particular interest in wireless broadband and was responsible for TeleGeography’s 4G Research Service until it was integrated into GlobalComms.

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