Estonia is planning to revive its cancelled 5G spectrum auctions by making a fourth licence available.
In February 2019, Estonia’s Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority confirmed that it would auction three 3.6GHz licences to allow operators to provide 5G services, with a reserve price of €1.59 million (US$1.8 million).
The country’s three mobile operators – Elisa, Tele2 and Telia – all confirmed that they intended to bid, but the next month the auction was halted when ISP Levicom took legal action against it, arguing that by offering three licences, the government was providing an advantage to the incumbents and preventing a new player from entering the market.
In response to the challenge, Estonia’s IT minister Raul Siem has called for a fourth licence to be offered in the auction, noting that this would foster a strong competitive environment as well as encouraging efficient use of spectrum.
“We need to keep the market open to as many new developments and providers as possible. This helps to ensure a sustainable and diverse choice of services even in today’s significantly changed economic environment,” said Siem.
Operators have until 18th June to apply to bid for one of the four licences.