Croatian regulator HAKOM (Regulatory Agency for Network Operations) has invited feedback on its proposals for the auction of 5G-ready spectrum in the 700MHz, 3.5GHz and 26GHz bands.
Under the proposals, spectrum licences will be valid for 15 years, with the option to extend for a further five years. Local news outlet 24sata reports that the consultation will remain open until 3rd May, with the auctions likely to be held in June followed by the licences being issued in July.
As reported by CommsUpdate, the auctions will see 60MHz of 700MHz spectrum made available (in three 2x10MHz blocks), 320MHz in the 3.5GHz band (in 32 blocks of 10MHz) and 1000MHz of 26GHz spectrum (five 200MHz blocks). Licences for these blocks will be nationwide; an additional 80MHz of 3.5GHz spectrum will be offered via regional licences.
Operators that acquire 700MHz licences will be obliged to deliver 5G services to 90% of Croatia’s urban population and 25% of its rural population by the end of 2025, although the latter figure must reach 50% by end-2027.
Perhaps in preparation for acquiring a licence, A1 Hvratska - the local unit of Austrian group A1 – has signed a five-year deal for the supply of RAN equipment with Ericsson’s local unit, Ericsson Nikola Tesla (ENT), which will see the vendor partner construct A1’s 5G infrastructure.
The operator’s Senior Technology and Information Technologies Director Tomislav Makar said: “New capacities will be built upon 4G technology and all existing base station equipment will be upgraded to 5G technology.”
The companies have worked together since 1999, when they first partnered to launch a GSM network in Croatia.