5G Auction in the Czech Republic – Information for Investors

Spectrum in the 700 MHz and 3400-3600 MHz bands will be auctioned in 2019

The Czech Telecommunication Office is in the process of preparing auction terms for a 5G auction i.e. auction of frequencies in the 700 MHz and 3400-3600 MHz bands, which is preliminarily set to take place during the second half of 2019.

The auction terms will include favourable conditions for new entrants

One of the key objective of the auction is to promote competition on the Czech mobile market, in particular on the infrastructure level, by enabling a new player to enter the infrastructure market. The CTU therefore propose that the auction terms include conditions designed to enable a new entrant to acquire spectrum and to enter the Czech mobile market. These conditions include reservation of 2x10 MHz block in the 700 MHz band for a new entrant and a time-limited, cost-oriented national roaming on networks of the incumbent operators participating in the auction. The spectrum reservation is intended to ensure that a new entrant as well as current market players will be able to obtain sufficient amount of spectrum to provide a full scale of mobile services. The time-limited national roaming on the existing mobile networks is intended to allow the new entrant to compete on the market during the period required for its own network rollout.

The 700 MHz auction is a unique opportunity for a new player to enter the mobile market at a time when new 4G/5G technologies emerge. Mobile markets are likely to undergo rapid technological development provided there is sufficient competition driving it. Under the current legislative framework, no other suitable mobile spectrum below 1 GHz range is likely to be available in the foreseeable future, at least until 2030. After the 700 MHz auction, spectrum below 1 GHz will be fixed and a new entry into the Czech mobile market will only be possible by way of access or spectrum trading.

A summary of the preliminary auction terms can be found below (currently only in Czech language). CTU has held discussions on the preliminary auction terms with the market since mid-2018. The auction conditions will be finalised in the upcoming months and subject to formal public consultation in accordance with the applicable legislation. This process may result in amendments of the currently proposed terms. Call for offers is expected to be launched in the second half of 2019.  

CTU will provide additional information upon request. We are also open to comments to the preliminary auction terms. Please contact Mr. Martin Hanuš, Frequency Spectrum Management Department, tel. +420 224 004 686, e-mail: hanusm@ctu.cz or aukce@ctu.cz.

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