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Telecommunication operators in Czech Republic pay €39m for 5G spectrum

The telecommunications sector in the Czech Republic has announced that two incumbents alongside two new industry players is dividing the spoils of the country's 5G spectrum band. Existing operators O2 Czech Republic and Vodafone Czech Republic each gained a block of 40MHz in the auction of the 3.7GHz band which was conducted by the Czech Telecommunications Office.

New entrant to the Czech telecommunications industry PODA, also acquired 40GHz, whilst the other new telco player Nordic Telecom 5G received 80MHz of spectrum. However, there was disappointment for Suntel Net and T-Mobile Czech Republic who despite participating in the auction failed to acquire any of the available spectrum. Current operators faced a purchase limit of 40MHz, while new entrants could acquire up to 80MHz.

Reports emerging from the Czech Republic claim the government netted €39 million from the sale, with each block sold for seven times that of the reserve price. Chairman of the Council of the CTU, Jaromir Novak called the auction a success, which represented that the telecommunication market is geared towards the provision of data. He said, "The result of this successful tender indicates that the telecommunication market is oriented towards the provision of data services which are the core of functional data economy."

Industry analysts have stated that the 3.7GHz band is one of several that has been identified to be a 'pioneer' band for 5G in Europe, although there is much less availability of this band in the US and China. It's been reported that the majority of operators both in Europe and globally are currently testing 5G technology in mmWave bands between 30GHz and 300GHz, which benefits include high bandwidth with lower coverage.

The GSMA has previously stated that it's hopeful that the EU adopts an ambitious approach in relation to 5G policymaking. They said legislators should support proposals to make spectrum trading, sharing and leasing easier and asked for consistency among Member States in approaching the awarding of spectrum.