5G auction in Croatia attracts nine bidders

Upcoming summer season in Croatia may be hot for mobile operators. Croatian regulator HAKOM announced that it had received nine applications for participation in the electronic auction for the award of the 5G spectrum.

On 17 June 2021, the Croatian regulator HAKOM announced it got nine valid applications for the upcoming 5G auction. They came from both the big three mobile operators, as well as six regional operators. The prospective bidders had time for submission from 27 May to 11 June.

Nine operators want to provide 5G services

Three mobile operators serving the Croatian market are:

  • A1 Hrvatska
  • Hrvatski Telekom and
  • Telemach.

All of them submitted their applications for all offered 5G bands. In addition, the 26 GHz band is attractive also for a fourth player, Eolo.

The regulator plans to distribute an 80 MHz part of the 3600 MHz band also in regional licences. These raised an interest of the following six operators:

  • BeeIN
  • Digicom
  • Eco Net
  • EOLO
  • Markoja and
  • Terrakom.

Eolo applies both for a nationwide licence in the 26 GHz band and a regional licence in the 3600 MHz band. Eolo is an Italian operator, active in telecoms and media. The company’s mission is to reach small municipalities across Italy. Now, apparently, their ambition has crossed the borders.

Licences for 15 years with coverage obligations

HAKOM plans to launch the bidding process on 12 July. The regulator selected the SMRA auction format. That means that the operators will bid simultaneously in multiple rounds. Subsequently, HAKOM will allocate concrete spectrum ranges in an additional bidding round. This last one will be through sealed bids.

The licences suitable for 5G will be valid for 15 years, after which period HAKOM may extend them by another five years. In two selected regions, the licences will only be valid for 13 years. The reason is the unavailability of the spectrum due to the existing licences for use by another technology until 2023.

Successful bidders must meet certain coverage obligations. For example, 5G signal of an appropriate quality must cover individual transport routes and areas of particular interest.

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