Swiss 5G auction exceeds revenue expectations

News

British would-be market entrant, Dense Air, pulled out of the bidding.

The Swiss government today announced it raised CHF380 million (Swiss francs – about €334 million) from its 5G spectrum auction.

Swisscom, Sunrise Communications and Salt, which is privately owned, all successfully bid for spectrum. The auction had been expected to raise about CHF220 million Swiss.

Blocks of frequencies in the 700MHz, 1400MHz, 2.6GHz and 3.5GHz ranges were up for grabs. The spectrum licences will last 15 years.

Big francs

Swisscom spent the most at CHF195.5 million, buying 46% of the frequencies on offer. It noted, “The bid of CHF196 million is viewed as exceptional and was not included in the capital investments of around CHF2.3 billion projected for 2019”.

It acquired 2x15 on 700MHz, 50 on 1400MHz and 120 on 3500MHz blocks.

The country’s biggest operator added, “By the end of 2019, it is expected that 5G will have been successively rolled out to 60 Swiss towns and communities, providing customers with faster response times, higher speeds and greater capacity.”

Below the salt?

Salt invested CHF94.5 million for 2x10 MHz of 700 MHz FDD spectrum as well as 10 MHz of 1,400 MHz SDL spectrum and 80 MHz of 3.5 GHz TDD spectrum. Its CEO, Pascal Grieder, said, “We are extremely satisfied with the outcome”.

Sunrise spent CHF89.2 million on spectrum and announced it has gained, “The best frequencies for ‘5G for People’ and Switzerland’s leading 5G network”. It won spectrum in what it called “the strategically most important frequencies in the 3.5 MHz band”.