William Malcolm

CTU To Launch 5G Auction In November

The auction for fast 5G mobile networks will start in the first half of November, according to the CTU. All seven applicants who have applied will be able to take part in the competition.

“Although we expect the active phase to end by Christmas at the latest, due to the legislative deadlines, the allocations will probably take place after the new year,” said spokeswoman Barbora Havelková.

The CTU is bidding on frequencies in the 700 MHz band released by the transition from TV broadcasting to DVB-T2 and frequencies from 3.4 to 3.6 GHz. The total starting price is 5.4 billion crowns, about 900 million less than the Office’s original plan last year. The reason is the results of similar competitions elsewhere in the world and the reduction in the price of one of the frequency blocks, followed by the obligation to provide so-called national roaming. The Office revised the auction conditions three times.

Three domestic operators challenged the auction through lawsuits and complaints to the European Commission. They are particularly bothered by national roaming conditions and the small bandwidth in the 3.4-3.6 GHz band. According to them, the auction contains unauthorized public support. According to the chairwoman of the CTU, Hana Továrková aukce, there is no support.

The auction should bring to market one or more new operators that would increase competition in the market, which could lead to a drop in mobile data price. According to an earlier estimate by the government’s commissioner for technology and digitization, Vladimír Dzurilla, the auction could reduce the cost of unlimited mobile data to approximately CZK 700 per month. Now it is usually over 1000 CZK.