Orange’s Slovakian unit is increasing its 5G spectrum holding while also discussing a potential network-sharing arrangement with Slovak Telecom.
According to local news outlet Zive.sk, talks have been underway for some months between Orange Slovensko and Slovak Telecom (ST), with the operators mindful that a shared FTTH network would reduce their costs and speed up implementation, allowing customers swifter access.
On the 5G front, Orange is acquiring 20MHz of 3.5GHz spectrum from the fixed-wireless provider SWAN, which has transferred its licences – valid until the end of August 2025 – to the operator.
Orange already holds 2x20MHz blocks of 3.5GHz spectrum, which it obtained in 2019 from Slovanet. Rival player O2 acquired the same amount of spectrum in this band in July 2015, while ST only has access to the 3.5GHz frequency within the Bratislava metropolitan area.
Slovakia’s government opened its 5G auctions on 31st March, with 60MHz of coveted 700MHz spectrum available. To ensure that it can be obtained by multiple parties, operators will be able to acquire a maximum of 2x15MHz. The spectrum is being sold in blocks of 2x5MHz at a reserve price of €16 million.
Spectrum in the 900MHz and 1800MHz bands will also be up for bidding. The licences will be valid for 20 years.