Operators in Spain must pay a total of at least 1.17 billion euros for the 700 Mhz band, a priority for 5G. This will be auctioned in the first quarter of 2021, according to the terms published last week by the Government.
Specifically, eight blocks of frequencies will be auctioned for a period of 20 years: the first one made up of a 2×10 MHz concession, with a starting price of 340 million euros; four 2×5 MHz concessions, for 200 million euros each; and another three 5 MHz concessions for 10 million euros each.
A single payment has been established for awarding the concession, unlike the previous auction held in Spain in 2018 -for the 3.6 and 3.8 Ghz band. Also for 5G, for which an annual payment was set.
The process establishes certain obligations, such as that of providing 100% coverage to towns of more than 20,000 inhabitants over a period of three years. Also to highways, freeways and multi-lane roads, in addition to high-speed lines stations.
The auction will take place after these frequencies that were being used by Digital Terrestrial Television channels have been freed up. This is a process called the Second Digital Dividend and was concluded in the autumn.
The price for some of the blocks is comparatively lower than the rest of similar concessions that have been made, in accordance with the conditions. They also specify that the auction will contemplate multiple rounds and will be carried out over the internet.
The previous auction of the 3.6 Ghz-3.8 Ghz band was attended by the four main operators in Spain -Telefónica, Orange, Vodafone and MásMóvil.
Amongst all of them, MásMóvil was the one that left the option of applying for this new auction up in the air. It will depend on the conditions, one of which was that its status as the fourth operator be taken into account.
Up to now, none of the four operators has expressed any opinion on the requirements considered by the Government for this auction.