Telecom hopes to have more spectrum at the 5G auction

The Telecommunications Office is planning to stage a frequency auction in the 700 MHz and 3.5 GHz bands in January 2020, as it seeks to strengthen competition in a market where high prices have long been a control of customers and politicians.

Nordic Telecom based in Czecheki, aiming to become the country’s fourth operator, wants a future new generation 5G frequency auction to offer a larger spectrum proportion to potential newcomers.

But Nordic Telecom said the frequency of arrivals should be higher, and also argued that the amount of time required to cover the site should be cut to ensure the auction was for what were called serious bidders.

“Our models show that we cannot fully compete with current mobile operators because we would not have enough frequency,” Nordic Telecom’s communications director David Voska said in a statement.

The CTU has said it will reserve a 2×10 MHz block allocation in the 700 MHz band for new operators, who may also have an opportunity to offer an additional 5 MHz in the event the duties show little interest. Newcomers will also have a higher bandwidth than those in the 3.5 GHz band.

Nordic Telecom has more than 100,000 customers in the country of 10.7 million and offers high-speed internet through its network, aiming to use the auction to enter the mobile sector.

Auction operators will have to commit to providing coverage for cities without high-speed internet, reaching 95% within three years. Transport corridors and 95% of cities and towns with populations of more than 50,000 should be covered by 2025.

The CTU last month set the auction conditions for public consultation. Fifteen parties had commented before a July 26 deadline, including the three current operators: O2 Czech Republic, T-Mobile and Vodafone.

A European Commission study of broadband mobile prices in February showed that the Czech Republic and Cyprus had the most expensive data prices in Europe, and Prime Minister Andrej Babis has tried to pressure operators to reduce the charges.

Low-frequency bidders will also have to commit to providing national roaming for six years for new operators.

CTU declined to comment. It takes a month to deal with the answers in the consultation, a spokesman said./

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