Denmark awards 5G frequency bands

Denmark successfully completes its multiband spectrum auction. The regulator DEA distributed frequencies in five bands among three major mobile operators. In return, it will collect proceeds amounting to more than DKK 2bn.

All three operators Hi3G, TDC Net and and TT Network won frequencies in the 2100 MHz, 3.5 GHz and 26 GHz frequency bands. TDC Net and TT Network additionally won 45 MHz each in the 1500 MHz band. TDC Net was also the single winner of 40 MHz in the 2300 MHz band.

In the 2100 MHz band, each operator won 40 MHz. The auction resulted in a balanced distribution of the 3.5 GHz frequency band, with the awards of 120 MHz, 130 MHz and 140 MHz, respectively. In the 26 GHz band, Hi3G won 1000 MHz, TDC Net 1250 MHz and TT Network 600 MHz.

TDC Net, who won spectrum in each of the offered bands, will naturally pay the highest price – nearly DKK 794.7m. TT Network follows with the total price of DKK 741m and Hi3G will pay DKK 540.5m.

Better coverage

With the auction, the government demanded that coverage be established in 122 selected areas, providing access to speeds of at least 30 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload as well as voice coverage. The requirement will ensure better coverage across the country for the third time in five years. The regulator namely imposed similar coverage requirements in the 1800 MHz and 700/900 MHz frequency band licences.

About 9,000 homes, businesses and holiday homes are located in the 122 new coverage areas – a total of about 1,300 km2 – which will experience improved coverage as a result of the auction result. The coverage requirements must be met by 1 February 2024 at the latest.

Specure recommends users Open Nettest to check their QoS in the newly covered areas.

Faster 5G rollout with 3.5 MHz frequency band

Besides better coverage, the auction aimed at accelerating 5G rollout across the country. The coverage requirement requires companies to ensure population coverage of 60% by the end of 2023 and 75% by the end of 2025 using the 3.5 GHz frequency band.

5G for industry use

Part of the 3.5 GHz band shall become available to companies and public institutions for their private 5G networks. TT Network’s award in the 3.5 GHz frequency band includes 60 MHz which the operator will have to rent to non-telco entities. These include e.g. companies, public institutions and universities.

The rental obligation applies for the first four years of the licence duration. The institutions should address TT Network with their requirements during that period. However, they may lease the spectrum over the whole licence period, i. e. until 2041.

In the longer term, DEA will work to provide frequencies for private networks in the neighbouring frequency band (3.8-4.2 GHz frequency band). There is also a dedicated 400 MHz in the 26 GHz frequency band for private networks.

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