Slovakia’s regulatory office has opened applications for its upcoming auction of 5G-ready spectrum, including frequencies in the 700MHz, 900MHz and 1800MHz bands.
In the first of these, 2x30MHz blocks are available, with blocks sold in 2x5MHz lots with a reserve price of EUR16 million (US$17.5 million) and a 2x15MHz limit per operator. The 700MHz licences will be valid for 20 years.
Winning bidders will be obliged to extend 5G coverage to 70% of the country’s population by the end of 2027, although the shorter-term conditions are steeper – by end-2025, 95% of county town residents must be covered, with 90% of the population outside of these settlements covered by 2027.
The reserve price for 900MHz spectrum is set at EUR840,000 for a 2×4.2MHz block, with all acquired frequencies to be in use within six months of purchase. The three available 3MHz blocks of 1800MHz spectrum have a reserve price of EUR550,000, and must be in use within 12 months. These licences are valid to the end of 2025, with applications open until 25th May.
Industry observers had anticipated that the newest market entrant SWAN Mobile/4ka – which is smallest of the country’s four players – would be allocated a spectrum holding in the sub-1GHz range as it currently does not hold any of these frequencies. However, no such provision was made for it.