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Montenegro raises €8.8m from spectrum award

Historic town of Perast at Bay of Kotor in summer, Montenegro

Historic town of Perast at Bay of Kotor in summer, Montenegro

Telecoms regulator of Montenegro, EKIP, announced the results of the spectrum award in the bands 700 MHz, 3.5 GHz and 26 GHz. Three operators gained spectrum for 15 years. The state treasury gained €8.8m.

About one year after the previous multiband auction, Montenegro successfully completed another one. This time in three spectrum bands, suitable for 5G networks: 700 MHz, 3.5 GHz and 26 GHz.

The auction was announced and the auction documentation published in October 2022. Three bidders qualified for the participation in the auction:

And the winner is…

Each operator gained 2×10 MHz in the 700 MHz band. Each also gained a sufficient amount of the 3.5 GHz band spectrum – MTel and One Crna Gora equally 120 MHz and Crnogorski Telekom by 20 MHz more. The 26 GHz band remained undistributed.

The operators paid the following fees (rounded) for their 15-year spectrum rights:

Spectrum award technicalities

EKIP organised the award process as a combination of a simple clock auction and a sealed bid auction (for undistributed spectrum from the clock part). After the distribution of abstract blocks, the bidders proceeded to the next – assignment – stage, to determine concrete spectrum ranges.

The auction itself took place during winter holidays – from 20 to 27 December 2022. The whole process required a total of eight rounds of bidding (five primary, one additional and two rounds of assignment) and three auction days.

EKIP issued the decision on the selection of bidders on 12 January 2023 and awarded the licences on 9 February 2023 after the winners paid their respective fees.

We at Specure are happy to have assisted with the smooth auction procedure.

Current spectrum holdings after award

EKIP published an overview of spectrum holdings in a nice graphic format. At the first sight, the spectrum distribution looks rather balanced. All three mobile network operators hold some spectrum in the bands: 700 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2600 MHz and 3.5 GHz. In the 800 MHz band, only Mtel and Crnogorski Telekom hold spectrum, but not One Crna Gora.

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