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Spain to award 26 GHz band at the beginning of 2022 at the latest: report

The Spanish government aims to award spectrum in the 26 GHz band for the provision of 5G between the end of 2021 and the beginning of next year, Europa Press reported, citing remarks from the Secretary of State for Telecommunications and Intelligent Infrastructures, Roberto Sánchez.

The 26 GHz band is the last spectrum band that remains to be assigned to Spanish carriers for 5G.

The official noted that the government is working on the final details of the process but added that it would probably award part of the frequencies to operators and allocate another part for shared use, which would allow the use of this spectrum by companies in the industrial space.

In July, the Spanish government raised a total of 1.1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) in the 700 MHz spectrum auction, with local operators Telefónica, Vodafone and Orange securing these key frequencies to expand 5G services.

The Spanish Ministry of Economic Affairs detailed that the government raised around 15 million euros above the starting price. The government also confirmed that each license will have a duration of 20 years, rising to a maximum of 40 years.

The 700 MHz spectrum tender process was divided into two blocks of 2×10 megahertz and three of 5 megahertz, consisting of a total 12 rounds of bidding, which was contested by the country’s three major operators after local operator Masmovil decided not to take part in the process.

Vodafone Spain said it spent a total of 350 million euros on 2×10 megahertz blocks, which will be paid in a single installment, in addition to a licensing fee of 15.5 million euros payable each year. The operator said it would use the new frequencies to expand its 5G footprint and offer better coverage, including indoors.

Telefónica spent 310 million euros for 2×10 megahertz, paying slightly less because of faster rollout obligations.

Meanwhile, Orange Spain spent 350 million euros for the same spectrum block.

Spanish operators have already launched 5G services through spectrum in the 3.5 GHz, which was awarded in 2018.

In February, the Spanish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation had awarded the remaining two 10-megahertz blocks of spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band to local carriers Orange and Telefonica.

Orange and Telefónica were the only two operators that took part in this last auction, each paying the starting price of 21 million euros for a 10-megahertz block.

ABOUT AUTHOR

Juan Pedro Tomás
Juan Pedro Tomás
Juan Pedro covers Global Carriers and Global Enterprise IoT. Prior to RCR, Juan Pedro worked for Business News Americas, covering telecoms and IT news in the Latin American markets. He also worked for Telecompaper as their Regional Editor for Latin America and Asia/Pacific. Juan Pedro has also contributed to Latin Trade magazine as the publication's correspondent in Argentina and with political risk consultancy firm Exclusive Analysis, writing reports and providing political and economic information from certain Latin American markets. He has a degree in International Relations and a master in Journalism and is married with two kids.

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