Will Russia’s 5G millimetre wave (mmWave) auction go ahead as planned? It’s unlikely according to recent news reports, which cite official documentation saying that the auction is off.
Russia’s proposed auction of 5G-suitable mmWave spectrum in the 25.25GHz-27.5GHz band was due to take place by March this year. News reports from Russia, referring to information from the State Commission for Radio Frequencies (SCRF), now indicate that the auction will probably be scrapped, though why is unclear.
It seems that the mmWave frequencies will now be assigned to interested parties without a bidding process. At least some of the spectrum – in the 24.65GHz-29.5GHz band – is going to be allocated to New Digital Solutions for 5G testing purposes until early 2021. New Digital Solutions is a joint venture between Rostelecom, Russia’s largest provider of digital services and solutions, and MegaFon, the second-largest mobile phone operator and the third-largest telecommunications operator in the country.
This is not yet the last word on the subject. SCRF has another meeting planned – on 10 March. News services in Russia claim that a final decision on the mmWave spectrum will be made on this date.
MmWave is in high-frequency bands that cover much smaller areas than low-frequency-band services but can carry much more data. It will, in theory, increase the data bandwidth available over smaller, densely populated areas, often in cities, such as sports stadiums, malls, and convention centres, thus easing data congestion.