2021 was a crucial year for the acceleration and development of the 5G ecosystem around the world. Following the auctions from last year, we could see that some of the goals that regulators have had in common are to guarantee efficient spectrum use; to promote fair and equitable use of national spectrum resources; to provide broader population coverage; and to offer access to spectrum for private networks for vertical industries.  

European regulators have used several instruments to achieve these efficiency goals, such as spectrum packaging, spectrum holding caps, license geographical scope, license duration, various forms of license obligations, reserve price and the auction format. 

5G spectrum auctions in 2021

In Europe, there were several 5G spectrum auctions: Portugal (700 and 3.5 GHz, together with legacy spectrum bands 900 MHz, 1.8, 2.1 and 2.6 GHz) raised a total of €566 million Euros; Croatia (700 MHz, 3.5 GHz, and 26 GHz) raised a total of €47.9 million Euros; Malta completed its award of the 3.5 GHz band; and Spain (700 MHz) raised over €1 billion Euros.

Globally, there were also a series of 5G spectrum auctions: Canada (3.5 GHz) raised a total of €6 billion Euros; Norway (2.6 GHz, 3.5 GHz) raised a total of €49 million Euros; the Dominican Republic (700 MHz, 3.3 MHz, 3.3 GHz - 3.4 GHz) concluded with a total of €63 million Euros; Hong Kong (600 MHz, 700 MHz, 850 MHz, 2.6 GHz, 4.9 GHz) raised a total of €210 million Euros; and Brazil (700 MHz, 2.3 GHz, 3.5 GHz, 26 GHz) raised €7.5 billion Euros.

As of December 2021, Germany achieved 5G coverage in 53% of the country, thanks to both the 3.5 GHz spectrum and the use of legacy spectrum with DSS (Dynamic Spectrum Sharing), a novel technology that enables the sharing of 4G and 5G on the same band.

Upcoming 5G auctions in 2022

  • Poland’s (3.5 GHz) spectrum auction will take place in 2022, and will primarily make it available for operators. The regulator has suggested that 320 MHz of spectrum will be available for purchase. 

    A 700 MHz spectrum auction will take place once the digital terrestrial television          providers migrate their services to other spectrum bands. 

  • The 5G spectrum auction in India will be finally held in the second quarter of this year. It was initially expected to happen last year, but it was postponed due to the pandemic.
  • Brazil (26 GHz) auction will take place in 2022. The bands that were not sold during last year are offered in this auction.
  • Romania scheduled the 5G auction for mid-2022
  • Spain (26 GHz) spectrum auction will take place in the second half of 2022.
  • Serbia is likely to hold a 5G spectrum auction around mid-2022.
  • Lithuania: The Communications Regulatory Authority has extended the deadline to March 25, to submit documents for the upcoming 5G spectrum auction. The upcoming auction comprises the sale of one 2×10MHz block and two lots of 2×5MHz.
  • The 5G auction in Belgium will take place in the first half of 2022.
  • The 5G spectrum auction in Sri Lanka is programmed for the first quarter of 2022

Popular 5G frequency bands:

  • The 700 MHz band is a low frequency band. It covers wider areas and is able to offer higher-speed and higher-quality broadband to consumers. The band has been freed from DTT in several countries and the remaining countries are expected to do so during this year.
  • The 3.6 GHz band (also known as C-band) is used as the basis for the first implementations of 5G globally. This spectrum is at a balancing point between coverage and capacity that provides the perfect environment for the earliest 5G connectivity.
  • 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. For example, the band is useful in the specific coverage of areas with high traffic density. It is used for industrial applications, gaming, augmented reality and transport.


How can Omnitele support you?

Omnitele can model and simulate different scenarios with varying input parameters, including:

  • Different spectrum band combinations, with both present spectrum holdings and potential new spectrum bands to be acquired.
  • QoS/Throughput objectives
  • Traffic model with varying traffic growth factors
  • Technology development & costs thereof
  • Regulatory constraints


You can read more about how we could help you from our customer case.

Customer benefits

Our customers have been able to compile a complete spectrum auction strategy and bid for the most optimal spectrum band and bandwidth knowing its value, thanks to the outcome of the scenario analysis and the associated cost scenarios.  Do not hesitate to contact us.

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