On 26 November 2018, following extensive consultations, the German regulator Bundesnetzagentur opened the qualification procedure for the 5G auction in the 2 GHz and 3.6 GHz (3.4-3.7 GHz) bands. Applications could be submitted until 25 January 2019. The award conditions include obligations for better coverage in both urban and rural areas as well as along transport routes, plus measures to promote competition, such as service provider regulations and national roaming requirements.
The auction is planned to start in the first quarter of 2019. The regulator proposes the auction format SMRA, which was selected as a proven format from the auctions in 2010 and 2015.
The licences shall be awarded until 31 December 2040.
The award conditions include detailed coverage obligations, including coverage of highways, railway corridors and white spot areas, defining dates and percentages of the 5G network coverage, together with the number of base stations, as well as internet quality criteria, such as speed or latency. New entrants should have a chance to negotiate on national roaming with other successful licence holders under non-discriminatory conditions.
The reserve price of the frequency block of 2 x 5 MHz (paired) in the 2 GHz band with availability from 2021 is set at EUR 5 million and of the frequency block with availability from 2026 at EUR 3.75 million.
The reserve price of a frequency block of 1 x 20 MHz (unpaired) in the 3,400 – 3,420 MHz range is set at EUR 2 million. The reserve price of a frequency block of 1 x 10 MHz (unpaired) in the 3,420 MHz – 3,700 MHz range is set at EUR 1.7 million.