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Slovakia awards mid-band licences to four operators

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Slovak regulator RÚ announced the completion of the auction to award 5G licences in the 3.4-3.8 GHz band. Each of the four established mobile network operators won the spectrum. The total proceeds from the auction exceed €63m.

Slovak regulator awarded the spectrum band 3.4-3.8 GHz, also called the mid-band, a long time ago. However, at that time not for the purposes of 5G networks yet. The existing licences, used historically e.g. for fixed wireless access, will expire by the end of August 2025. Therefore, the new licences will only become valid on 1 September 2025. And they will be awarded for twenty years, namely until 31 December 2045.

The regulator launched the auction on 1 March 2022. It applied the auction format SMRA-Clock Hybrid. You can find more on our spectrum auction services here.

RÚ set the reserve price of a 10 MHz block at €1.6m. The whole band would have suffice for four 100 MHz awards. However, RÚ did not offer the block 3400-3410 MHz because operators considered it as less attractive with regard to interference issues. Rather, the regulator decided to award the troublesome block under beneficial conditions to the winner of the neighbouring block (3410-3420 MHz) after the auction. In this case, the winner of the neighbouring block is the operator Swan who won 90 MHz spectrum – the block 3410-3500 MHz – for €14.4m.

The operator O2 Slovakia bought 100 MHz the dearest – for €17.21m. And the final two opeartors, Slovak Telekom and Orange Slovakia, will pay eqaually €16m.

As regards the concrete assignments, the whole 3.4-3.8 GHz pool will be occupied in order by Swan (3400-3500 MHz), Orange Slovakia (3500-3600 MHz), O2 Slovakia (3600-3700 MHz) and Slovak Telekom (3700-3800 MHz).

Although the licences will be technologically neutral, the regulator set certain rollout requirements for 5G networks. Each licensee must by the end of 2028 have installed in each district city at least two access points with the technology 5G New Radio or higher and the aggregate number of such access points in the whole territory of Slovakia must be at least 300.

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