Spain kicks off 5G spectrum auction

News

Spain has begun the process of auctioning nationwide 5G spectrum, setting a reserve price of €100 million.

The Ministry of Tourism, Energy and Digital Agenda (MINETAD) has tendered 200MHz of 3.6-3.8GHz frequencies, divided into 40 blocks of 5MHz, each with a reserve of €2.5 million. Licences will last 20 years.

Operators have until 29th June to apply for the auction, with bidding expected to begin in mid-July.

Earlier this year, Spain introduced a spectrum cap limiting mobile operators to holding no more than 120MHz of spectrum in the 3.4-3.8GHz band. It means that

Orange Spain, which holds 40MHz of 3.5GHz spectrum, will be restricted to bidding on a maximum of 80MHz of the available airwaves.

MINETAD has allocated the 3.4-3.8GHz band as the main band for the introduction of 5G services in Spain. The auction forms part of the government's National Plan 5G 2018-2020, which aims to put the country at the vanguard of next generation mobile technology development.

Spain plans to also auction 1.5GHz frequencies for 5G services at some point this year.

In a statement on Friday, MINETAD said: "5G technology is not only the new paradigm of mobile communications, it is the essential technological component in digital transformation, having a transversal effect on society and the economy of the most advanced countries during the next decade."