5G spectrum in 2018 — report by GSA

5G was the buzz word in 2018 for the telecom industry as 10 countries have auctioned / allocated / licensed spectrum for 5G network showing the fresh demand for high-speed Internet connections

Seventeen countries have formally announced plans to auction 5G spectrum between 2018 and the end of 2020. Thirteen countries have planned spectrum allocations in bands that can potentially be used for 5G.

gsacom-colourAustralia (3575–3700 MHz), the UAE (3300–3800 MHz), Finland (3410–3800 MHz), Italy (3600–3800 MHz and 26 GHz), Ireland (3600 MHz), Latvia (3400–3450 MHz and 3650–3700 MHz), South Korea (3420–3700 MHz and 26.5–28.9 GHz), Mexico (2500–2690 MHz), Spain (3600–3800 MHz), UK (3400 MHz) have conducted 5G spectrum auctions, according to telecom industry association GSA.


Albania is planning a tender of spectrum at 800 MHz (792–862 MHz) and applications are due in February 2019.

Austria plans to hold an auction in the 3400–3800 MHz for 5G services in February 2019.

Belgium plans to auction the 700 MHz, 1400 MHz and 3600 MHz bands for 5G, according to the following indicative timelines: 700 MHz, 3400–3800 MHz, 1500 MHZ (SDL) in 2019; 26 GHz from 2021; 31.8–33.4 GHz and 40.5–43.5 GHz from 2022 to 2027.

Bosnia and Herzegovina adopted new regulations for the use of the 3400–3600 MHz, 3600–3800 MHz, 800 MHz and 2600 MHz bands.

Bulgaria has launched a public consultation on the use of the 3400–3600 MHz and 3600–3800 MHz bands for 5G services before 2020.

Czechia awarded frequencies in the 3600–3800 MHz band to local operators for high-speed data networks. It has also stated its future intention to issue spectrum at 3400–3600MHz and 26GHz for 5G.

Denmark is yet to announce fresh dates for auctioning spectrum in the 700 MHz, 900 MHz and 2300 MHz bands.

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Finland in October 2018 completed an auction of spectrum in the 3500 MHz frequency band (3410–3800 MHz), useable for 5G. Licences were awarded to DNA Finland, Elisa and Telia Finland.

France in October 2018 launched a consultation for allocating spectrum at 1400 MHz, 3400–3800 MHz and 26 GHz, with the aim of achieving commercial 5G deployment in at least one major city by 2020.

Germany in November 2018 announced rules for an auction of spectrum in the 2000 MHz and 3400–3700 MHz bands for 5G services. The auctions will be in spring 2019.

Greece in October 2018 launched a consultation on the granting of rights to use spectrum between 3400–3800 MHz and 24.25–27.5 GHz for 5G testing.

Hungary plans to auction spectrum in the 700 MHz and 3400–3800 MHz bands for 5G in Q3 2019. It has plans to auction spectrum at 26 GHz.

Netherlands plans an auction of the 700 MHz, 1400 MHz and 2100 MHz frequency bands in late 2019-2020 for 4G and 5G. Netherlands is also reviewing the possible use of 3500 MHz spectrum for mobile services.

Norway is consulting on spectrum plans for 5G covering the 1500 MHz, 2300 MHz, 3400–3800 MHz and 26 GHz bands.

Poland is consulting on the allocation of the following 5G spectrum: 700 MHz, 3.5 GHz, 3.7 GHz and 26 GHz.

Portugal is holding a consultation on a spectrum auction of various bands for 5G: 700 MHz, 450 MHz, 900 MHz, 1500 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2.1 GHz, 2.6 GHz, 3.6 GHz and 26 GHz.

Romania has launched two consultations. The first is for the strategy for the implementation of 5G, planned for 2020, including plans to make additional spectrum at 700 MHz and 3400– 3800 MHz available in 2019, plus spectrum at 26 GHz (24.25–27.5 GHz) in 2021.

Russia is yet to sort out 5G spectrum licensing formally. Operators MegaFon and Rostelecom are planning to deploy 5G in the 3400–3600 MHz and 26 GHz bands.

Serbia expects to conduct 5G auctions at the end of 2019 or early 2020. Slovakia has awarded 3600–3800 MHz licences for wireless broadband.

Slovenia has launched a public consultation for the allocation of spectrum in the 700 MHz band for 4G and 5G services.

Spain in July 2018 ran an auction of the 3.6–3.8 GHz spectrum band for 5G services. 200 MHz was auctioned, with three operators winning spectrum. Orange Espana separately gained spectrum at 3.5 GHz in an auction in 2016.

Sweden plans to auction spectrum at 2.3 GHz and 3.5 GHz for mobile broadband and 5G services in 2019.

Switzerland in July 2018 launched an invitation to tender for spectrum in the 700 MHz, 1400 MHz, 2600 MHz and 3500–3800 MHz bands. Auction will be in January 2019.

UK issued an update to its 5G strategy, saying that would continue its work to free radio spectrum in the 700 MHz, 3.6–3.8 GHz and 26 GHz bands as well as considering whether spectrum in the 66–71 GHz bands may be viable for 5G.

UK in March 2018 allocated spectrum in the 3.4 GHz band (3410–3480 MHz and 3500–3580 MHz) for 5G.

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