Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Switzerland sets moderate reserve price for Jan 5G auction

By Mary Lennighan, for Total Telecom
Friday 06 July 18

Regulator's auction framework designed to ensure three incumbent operators are able to acquire 5G frequencies; does not aim to 'maximise auction revenue'

Switzerland plans to auction off spectrum for 5G mobile services in January 2019, setting a moderate overall base price of around €189 million. Frequencies are available in the 700 MHz, 1400 MHz, 2600 MHz and 3.5 GHz bands (see chart) and companies that wish to bid for them have until 5 October to submit applications to the Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM)…

Switzerland plans to auction off spectrum for 5G mobile services in January 2019, setting a moderate overall base price of around €189 million.

Frequencies are available in the 700 MHz, 1400 MHz, 2600 MHz and 3.5 GHz bands (see chart) and companies that wish to bid for them have until 5 October to submit applications to the Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM), Switzerland's Federal Communications Commission (ComCom) announced on Friday.

The regulator indicated that it would welcome applications from both the country's existing mobile operators and potential newcomers, but the wording of its documentation suggests that it only expects the three incumbents – Salt, Sunrise and Swisscom – to participate.

Spectrum caps are in place. "Assuming there are three bidders, this means that each operator, given a corresponding willingness to pay, has the possibility of acquiring frequencies for a 5G rollout," ComCom said.

Participants will be restricted to a maximum of 2x15 MHz of FDD spectrum in the 700 MHz band, 25 MHz of SDL spectrum in the 700 MHz and 1400 MHz bands, and 120 MHz of TDD spectrum. In addition, a cumulative bidding restriction means that two bidders together cannot acquire more than 2x25 MHz of FDD spectrum at 700 MHz if there is any other bidder interested in a block in that same band.

With regard to price, ComCom insists it does not see the sale of spectrum as a cash cow.

"It is not ComCom's objective to maximise auction revenue," the regulator said. "The focus is on a good allotment of frequencies to operators and good coverage of the country with high-quality telecommunications services."

The reserve prices of all the available spectrum blocks together total 220 million Swiss francs (€189 million).

The licences all have a 15-year duration, again, the regulator says, for the good of the market.

"Thanks to a timely award and with a term fixed until the end of 2033, licensees are able to plan their long-term activities and to invest in complete confidence," ComCom said.

The regulator said it will not disclose the number or identities of the bidders until after the auction has taken place.

It expects to grant the licences in the second quarter of next year.
 

Since you're here...

...the Telecoms industry is characterised by constant change and evolution. That's why it's crucial for telecoms professionals to keep up-to-date with what is happening. Join 35,000+ of your peers and sign up to our free newsletter service today, to be in the know about what is going on. PLUS, as a member you can submit your own press releases!

See all membership options

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.

Newsletter signup

Quickly get on board and up to date with the telecoms industry