Wireless spectrum auction starts

Ljubljana – The Agency for Communication Networks and Services (AKOS) will launch today a long-awaited wireless spectrum auction, as part of which it is also offering frequency bands for 5G mobile networks.

Spectrum in the 700 MHz, 1500 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 3600 MHz and 26 GHz bands is available. A portion of the 700 MHz, 3600 MHz and 26 GHz bands is dedicated to 5G.

The four providers who have registered for the auction remain anonymous until the auctioning is completed, but several media reports indicate all major telecoms players will join the bidding.

Major Slovenian providers already offer 5G services on their existing networks, but given the expected rise in data traffic, they will need more spectrum in the future.

The auction starts at 9am at the agency, with the bidders placing their bids online.

AKOS published the invitation to the auction in mid-December with 1 February set as the deadline to submit the offers, but was then extended until 15 February.

Some media have reported that the public tender is not in line with EU law because it is based on legislation that does not yet include the latest EU directives in this field.

AKOS has denied the charge and claims the public tender is based on existing Slovenian law while also taking into account the latest EU guidelines.

The agency expects to allocate the frequencies by the middle of 2021, whereupon operators must put them to use within a year in at least one major town.

Within five years, wireless services within the entire awarded spectrum will have to be available to end users at least in all major towns.