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Austrian regulator awards additional spectrum for 5G services

Austrian Regulatory Authority for Broadcasting and Telecommunications (RTR) concluded the third auction of 5G frequencies, through which the entity awarded frequencies in the 26 GHz and 3.6 GHz bands.

In a release, the regulator said that it awarded seven blocks of frequencies in the 26 GHz band and seven blocks in the 3.6 GHz band.

The RTR added that the auction proceeds for the awarded frequency packages in the 26 GHz range amounted to 16.2 million euros (17.5 million), while the awarded frequency packages in the 3.6 GHz range generated a total of 8.5 million euros.

A total of seven blocks of 200 megahertz each were allocated in the 26 GHz range. The frequencies can be used until December 31, 2046. The successful bidders for this spectrum were A1 Telekom, T-Mobile and Hutchison. A1 acquired two blocks for a total of 4.6 million euros. T-Mobile acquired two blocks for a total of 4.6 million euros, while Hutchison acquired three blocks for a total of 6.9 million euros

“The 26 GHz band is characterized by very high bandwidths, but has a very limited range for mobile phone use. Frequencies in this spectrum are therefore particularly suitable for temporary coverage of areas with high user density and therefore very high capacity requirements, but not for widespread use. Another area of ​​application is industrial use and campus networks,” the regulator said.

The regulatory authority noted that it is allowing these frequencies to be switched off between 00:00 AM and 05:00 AM, provided there is no reduction in performance compared to daytime operation.

The RTR also said that the awarded frequencies in the 3.6 GHz range are remaining frequencies from the first 5G auction in 2019, which were not allocated in some regions due to a lack of demand from regional providers.

The regulator noted that there were seven blocks in this band, each with different frequency configurations for seven different regions. The successful bidders were A1 Telekom and T-Mobile. A1 Telekom acquired frequencies in four regions for a total of 2.6 million euros while T-Mobile acquired frequencies in three regions for a total of 5.9 million euros. These frequencies can be used by winning operators until December 31, 2039.

“Each frequency assignment holder is obliged to operate a certain number of locations from a certain point in time using the frequency spectrum allocated to them in this procedure or to fulfill the coverage obligations associated with the assignment. The coverage obligations serve to ensure efficient use of the frequencies. Failure to comply may result in penalties,” the regulator said.

The second auction of 5G frequencies had been completed in 2022.