Operators invest 1,010 million euros in the auction of 5G and just exceed the starting price

The 5G auction in Spain has lasted two days. With just three competitors, this Wednesday have covered the lots of frequencies that the Government opened to tender for the development of this new connection technology. Finally, the investment has been 1,010 million euros, an amount that barely exceeds the 995.5 million of the starting price and is lower than the amount that the Government had initially set.

The operators had warned in the months prior to the auction that the price set by the government was too high and forced the starting price to be reduced by 15%. Finally, both Orange and Vodafone have invested 350 million euros each in the auction that started on Tuesday, while Telefónica has closed the auction with 310 million.

The three telephone operators will have these frequencies with a 20-year concession that can be extended for another 20 years. This was the great auction of frequencies to develop the 5G in Spain, after the two that were previously carried out in 2018 and 2020, of lesser entity than the one that has been carried out this week. This distribution comes with a year of delay, since it should have been closed last summer, although the pandemic forced to delay the auction.

As Telefónica has explained in a statement, its block is associated with a series of coverage commitments to be covered before June 2025, in four years. Specifically, it must reach all municipalities with more than 20,000 inhabitants, airports, ports and AVE stations, as well as motorways and highways.

Not all the frequencies that had been put up for auction by the Government have been covered. There were three bands of 5MHz downstream communications, which had a joint starting price of 25.5 million euros, which have been deserted.

The operators will have to pay a one-off lump sum for the awards, which will be formally awarded to them around the turn of the summer so that they can begin frequency deployments.

The coverage obligations set, progressively, that 5G in the 700 MHz band must be deployed to 100% of the cities of 50,000 inhabitants in 2025.. Likewise, the cheaper 2×10 MHz lot should also be deployed in all cities with more than 20,000 inhabitants.

The mandatory locations for 5G deployment do not remain in the cities, as the country’s main airports (ten), ports (three), railway stations (six) and highways (eight) must also have coverage of this band before the end of next year.

By the end of June 2025, the number of airports with 5G coverage will increase to 22, ports to 12, railway stations to 10 and highways to 87.

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