Lithuanian telecoms regulator RRT announced an invitation of tenders for an auction to award spectrum in the 700 MHz band. Bidders have time until 25 January 2022 to apply.
The 700 MHz spectrum spectrum is suitable for efficient large-area coverage with 5G networks. RRT offers three blocks in the band. Each bidder will be able to acquire only one block.
RRT offers for sale the spectrum range 713–733 MHz paired with 768–788 MHz. It includes one block of 2×10 MHz and two smaller blocks of 2×5 MHz. The regulator set the reserve price of the bigger one at €5 million, while the smaller block starts at €3 million.
According to RRT Director Feliksas Dobrovolskis, difficult negotiations with the neighbouring countries preceded the launch of the 5G auction. Also, responsible preparations of the spectrum were necessary, such as the release of part of the television frequencies.
RRT set licence obligations
RRT defined certain coverage criteria for the prospective licensees. Those who suceed in the auction and gain the valuable spectrum will have to provide electronic communications services on 98% of Lithuania’s territory.
By the end of 2026, the licensees must guarantee defined minimum download speeds to 80% of households. The winner of the bigger block must guarantee them a minimum speed of 30 Mbps. The holders of the smaller blocks must provide them with at least 15 Mbps internet.
Within six months from the spectrum award, each licensee must start providing 5G services in one of the five biggest cities in the country. Until the end of 2023, they must provide 5G services in all of these five biggest cities: Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipėda, Šiauliai and Panevėžys.
RRT will award the licences for 20 years.