Friday, February 8, 2019

Swiss 5G auction, ComCom Raised $379 M

Switzerland's Federal Communications Commission (ComCom) has raised CHF380 million ($379 million) after it awarded 5G frequencies to local mobile operators Salt, Sunrise and Swisscom, the regulator said in a statement.

The auction took place between January 29 and February 7.

Salt secured 20 megahertz in the 700 MHz band, 80 megahertz in the 3.5 GHz band and 10 megahertz in the 1.4 GHz range. For this spectrum, the operator will have to pay CHF94.5 million.

Sunrise purchased 10 megahertz in the 700 MHz band, 100 megahertz in the 3.5 GHz range and 15 megahertz in the 1.4 GHz band. The carrier also secured an additional 10 megahertz in the 700 MHz band, which are  "supplemental downlink" frequencies that can be used to increase data download capacity in the future. Sunrise will pay a total of CHF89.23 million for the spectrum.

Meanwhile, Swisscom will pay CHF195.55 million for 30 megahertz in the 700 MHz band, 120 megahertz in the 3.5 GHz band and 50 megahertz in the 1.4 GHz band.

ComCom also said that Dense Air, a small carrier which had launched mobile operations last year, abandoned the process and failed to secure spectrum.

Five frequency blocks of 5 megahertz in the 2600 MHz band and in the 700 and 1400 MHz ranges were not sold. The frequencies that have not been awarded will be put out for tender again at a later date, the regulator said.

"The frequencies will be assigned for 15 years, giving the operators long-term planning security to develop their networks. The outcome of the auction has been recorded in a decision that is contestable before the Federal Administrative Court," ComCom said. "The awarding of frequencies is of key importance for the digitalization of Switzerland, and is in line with the Federal Council's 'Digital Switzerland' strategy. In addition to powerful mobile communications, 5G will enable many new uses in future, including the internet of things, medical applications (eHealth), image processing applications (virtual reality, augmented reality) or self-driving vehicles. Switzerland is one of the first countries in Europe to already provide the 5G frequencies to network operators."

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