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5G auction in Estonia started

Aerial view old town, Tallinn, Estonia

Toompea hill with tower Pikk Hermann and Russian Orthodox Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, view from the tower of St. Olaf church, Tallinn, Estonia

The 5G spectrum auction in Estonia knows its first winner. The mobile operator Elisa won the first licence in the 3.5 GHz band, reported After Elisa pays the licence fee, the Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority of Estonia, TTJA, will invite bids for the other two licences.

Elisa secured the valuable resource for €7.206m. That is a several times multiple of the reserve price. The ministry set the reserve price at €1.597m.

5G auction delayed by security

In mid-December 2021 Estonia adopted cyber security regulations for 5G networks. Only after that the 5G auction in Estonia could start. All in all, the preparations for the auction took more than two years, reported

The 5G network security requirements impose require that operators take national security interests into account. An authorisation procedure assesses the risk which a specific hardware or software poses to national security. Existing high-risk hardware and software will only be allowed until the end of 2025.

Besides the cyber security, Estonia had to deal with another obstacle. Namely the lack of agreement on spectrum coordination issues with Russia.

The situation in Poland is very similar. Poland also had spectrum coordination problems. However, with the 700 MHz band. And, like in Estonia, pending the adoption of complex cyber security rules delayed the spectrum auction in the 3.5 GHz band. Consequently, the delay has grown to two years by now.

Launched in February

The Estonian Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology had waited yet for the entry into force of the new telecoms act. That piece of legislation transposed the European Electronic Communications Code, EECC. Finally, the new act entered into force on 1 February 2022. On that day the auction also started. Bidders had 60 days to submit their bids.

Estonia offered three licences of 130 MHz each in the band 3410-3800 MHz.

This year, the licensees must start using the frequencies they win. They must install 200 transmitters within two years. Half of that in Harju County and five base stations in each of the rest of counties.

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