Germany’s telecoms regulator Bundesnetzagentur released a proposal for the country’s 5G spectrum auction based on responses to a framework document issued in 2017 as well as spectrum requirements received.
The plan is to auction off two segments of 60MHz of paired spectrum in the 2GHz range and 300MHz unpaired from the 3.6GHz range for nationwide use. Frequencies will be allocated under certain conditions, for instance they may specify where and at what time 5G networks using those frequencies should be built.
Interested parties can submit feedback by 28 February, and the aim is to conduct the auction this year and begin network construction in 2019.
A Handelsblatt report earlier in the week revealed operators will have to wait until a new government is in place to approve the final conditions of the auction, including spectrum prices. This is linked to the current situation in the country where talks are being held to form a coalition government, after elections in September 2017 did not produce an overall majority for any party.
Operators are unhappy with the decision to even hold an auction, as they believe this will not leave them with enough resources to invest in the construction of 5G networks.
Telecom companies paid on average €8.5 billion for 3G (UMTS) frequencies in 2010 and the government made €60 billion over the last 17 years from such sales, Telefonica Deutschland CEO Markus Haas told Handelsblatt.
He explained the 5G plans “won’t work out” if the regulator holds a competitive auction and then also expects operators to invest in a high-quality mobile network in rural areas.