Spain planning to open up mmWave 5G with 26 GHz band assignments
The Spanish government has kicked off the process to auction more spectrum for 5G mobile services in the country.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation recently published a public consultation on the demand and the management and exploitation model of the 26 GHz frequency band, one of the bands identified as priority for the development of 5G technology, together with the 700 MHz and 3.5 GHz bands.
The 26 GHz band is the last spectrum band that remains to be assigned to Spanish carriers for 5G.
“The 26 GHz band is appropriate for the provision of electronic communications services, and also for multiple use cases of low coverage, high capacity and low latency, such as, for example, the specific coverage of areas with high traffic density. , industrial applications, gaming , augmented reality or the transport sector ”, the ministry said in a statement.
According to the ministry, this consultation process is the previous step before launching the auction process to award the 26GHz band, which will take place in the second half of 2022. “Making this band available to the sector will serve as a stimulus for the implementation and development of 5G technology in Spain and it is a measure included in the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan ”, the ministry added.
In July 2021, the Spanish government raised a total of 1.1 billion euros (currently $1.24 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 2021, 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.