Spain is preparing for the awarding of 5G licences in the first quarter of the year through a public tender, yet to be set, of all 700 MHz frequencies recently released by DTT operators. The Administration has recently opened a public consultation to implement the whole process.
In the tender, eight blocks of frequencies will be auctioned with a starting price of €1.17 billion for a 20 year period, with the Government forecasting around €2.1 billion of income. Telco operators will be obliged to cover 100 per cent of municipalities with over 20,000 inhabitants in three years’ time. In addition, in cities with over 50,000 people, telco operators must reach a 50 per cent penetration in the first year, 75 per cent in the second, and 100 per cent in the third year.
Operators estimate a total investment of over €6 billion to have a full 5G coverage of the country. Telcos have been already deploying their networks and offering 5G services like Vodafone, the first to launch 5G services.
Telefónica has already covered over 1,200 municipalities with the new technology with a 76 per cent coverage, using 3.5 GHz frequencies band. Orange has also made moves in the 5G market.