After the first day’s bids exceeded 48 million euros and the second day’s bids reached 61.2 million euros, the first phase of the 5G auction continues. In all, the third day of bids for the allocation of rights to use frequencies in the 900 MHz and 1,800 MHz bands, which took place on January 4, reached 67.278 million euros.
According to Anacom, six rounds took place. Although the bidding for the 1,800 MHz band had the base price set at four million euros, there was an increase, with three lots bidding for 12.426 million euros, totaling 37.278 million euros. In the 900 MHz band, a lot was bid for 30 million euros.
The first phase of the auction, reserved for new entrants, takes place before the general phase in which all interested parties participate, including MEO, NOS and Vodafone, who confirmed the delivery of their applications at the end of November last year.
The rules indicate that the first moment will continue as long as there is interest and bids for the lots to tender. After the general bidding, consignment follows, with the geographic location of the lots won, and the allocation of rights to use the licenses.
The auction project sets the reserve price of the spectrum at 237.9 million euros, adding up all the spectrum bands that are available. For 700 MHz, the regulatory authority foresees the allocation of six lots of 2 x 5 MHz in the amount of 19.20 million euros each, in the total amount of 115.20 million. As for the 3.6 GHz band, it is considered that 40 lots of 10 MHz will be available for a total value of approximately 45 million euros.
The 5G auction in Portugal has been a troubled process, having been strongly contested by communications operators, whose criticisms have risen in tone with the release of the final regulation, resulting in several accusations, threats of freezing investments, lawsuits and even complaints to the European Commission.
With regard to the final regulation, Anacom maintained the price, but introduced greater flexibility in the payment of the spectrum, with 50% deferred payment, with a deferral of 1/3 of the amount initially being expected. Coverage obligations are also highlighted. By the end of 2023, operators must cover 75% of the population and 95%, by 2025, in low-density areas, and in the autonomous regions of Madeira and the Azores.
The coverage of two cities, one on the coast and one in the countryside, by fifth generation mobile networks remains one of the objectives, something that João Cadete de Matos admitted that it was not possible to achieve in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, although has indicated that there are several tests in progress that will allow you to make this release quickly.
It is recalled that, after the approval of the regulation, the timetable for the 5G auction has been updated and the procedures are expected to be completed during the first quarter of the new year.