Slovak regulatory authority RU has informed that the preparatory works for the 5G auction in the 700 MHz band proceed in line with the schedule to meet the deadline set by the EU decision for the release of the spectrum. The 694-790 MHz band has been used for the digital terrestrial TV (DVB-T) so far. As agreed in the EU, the band shall become available for 5G mobile broadband by 30 June 2020.
RU’s statement comes in reaction to certain published information, which could make an impression that Slovakia lags behind in the preparation for 5G implementation.
The 700 MHz band (694-790 MHz) is currently used by the company Towercom for DVB-T broadcasting. Its valid licences will expire, depending on multiplexes, gradually by September 2029. However, this date goes far beyond the deadline for releasing the spectrum for 5G. Therefore, RU had already earlier initiated negotiations with Towercom on its moving to lower frequency ranges.
Such an extraordinary change in valid licences, resulting from the need to comply with the EU legislation, incurs extra costs for the licence holder, which the State shall compensate. Therefore, the Telecommunications Act amendment, effective from 1 June 2019, stipulates for details on the compensation of the net direct costs associated with the extraordinary change in licence.
Beside changing the Towercom’s DVB-T licences, the regulator is preparing an auction for award of the released spectrum for 5G. The auction is foreseen in the second half of the year. RU cooperates with Grant Thornton Advisory and they are currently finalising the gathering and evaluation of information on 5G auctions in other countries, in particular in the EU member states. In parallel, RU and its advisor are preparing public consultation on the draft invitation for tender for award of frequencies via electronic auction.