PRESS RELEASE: CTU has dealt with comments from operators regarding the principles of planned auction in 700 MHz and 3,5 GHz bands

Prague, 18 March 2019 – CTU published its framework position (available only in Czech language) to the comments received to the updated proposal of basic principles of the auction in 700 MHz and 3,5 GHz bands. The deadline for comments was 2 January 2019.

Having regard to the announced goals of the auction (promotion of competition, effective use of spectrum and creation of good conditions for 5G deployment) CTU settled comments received from 10 stakeholders.

The comments did not contain any argument significant enough to lead CTU to completely reconsider the proposed basic principles and measures to reach the mentioned goals.

Regarding the promotion of competition, CTU still sees direct assignment of rights as justified. CTU has also received many (quite conflicting) comments to another measure to enhance competition - the commitment to provide national roaming. Nevertheless, CTU still considers this commitment justified. The conditions of national roaming will be set in such a way to ensure that a new operator would, on one hand, have a chance to provide comparable scope and quality of services to the established providers and, on the other hand, would also have incentives to build its own infrastructure. CTU will also confirm the validity of the commitment to provide a wholesale offer which was already set in the previous auction (of the frequencies for 4G).

Regarding the measures designed to support the deployment of 5G networks, CTU will modify the proposed criteria for the use of frequencies in both the 700MHz and 3,5 GHz bands. Based on the received comments, CTU will also consider changing the design of the principles in a way to ensure coverage of places which are currently not covered by LTE services.

At the end of 2018 CTU prepared a draft information about the design of the conditions of the planned tendering procedure and passed this document to the Ministry of Industry and Trade for the purpose of submitting this information to the government. After the discussion will take place at the government level, CTU is prepared to formally launch the tendering procedure, where the first step will be a public consultation according to the Electronic communications act. The proposed conditions will simultaneously be consulted with the Office for the protection of competition (ÚOHS) and the European Commission.  

CTU still has the aim to organise the auction till the end of this year. This would enable the use of the auctioned frequencies for the deployment of networks directly after the release of frequencies in the 700 MHz band which are now being used for digital TV broadcasting.