Georgia’s Communications Commission has concluded an auction of 5G spectrum that attracted just one participant - Cellfie Mobile, formerly known as Veon (Beeline).
With larger rivals MagtiCom and SilkNet choosing not to bid on any airwaves, Cellfie was able to obtain spectrum across several bands, securing 2×5MHz lots of 1800MHz spectrum for GEL1.386 million. The operator also won two lots in the 2600MHz range – each costing GEL226,000 – along with 2×5MHz in the 700MHz band and 1×50MHz in the 3500MHz band for a total of GEL2.657 million.
Within one month of the auction, Cellfie must pay 30% of its total GEL4.497 spend. The operator is also required to provide fair and non-discriminatory network access to MVNOs via the 1800MHz and 2600MHz bands – an obligation that was enough to deter MagtiCom and SilkNet from bidding.
According to CommsUpdate, the two larger operators have accused the Communications Commission of “deliberately spreading misinformation” and “misleading the public” in relation to the auctions, claiming that their suggestions regarding the process were ignored. While both operators stated that they welcomed MVNOs, they argued that these providers should enter the market via commercial negotiations based on mutual interest, rather than licensing obligations.