A public auction has been launched to allocate the RF spectrum for fifth-generation (5G) mobile communications networks in the Republic of Croatia by its telecommunications regulator HAKOM. This auction adds Croatia’s name to the list of countries that have started building 5G infrastructure for their population base. In effect of the ongoing pandemic situation, the auction would be conducted through electronic bidding. The requests to participate in the auction can be submitted until 11 June.
Depending on different regions, frequency bands ranging from 700 MHz, 3600 MHz, 26 GHz, and 3600 MHz will be auctioned using different procedures. The licenses for access to these bands will be issued for a period of 15 years with an extension of up to 5 years in some cases. In the past, licenses for 5G technology valid until 2023 had been issued in regions like Medimurje and Varazdin counties. Thus, new licenses in these regions will now be issued for a shorter span of 13 years.
More on the 5G auction in Croatia
A competition strategy of simultaneous competition in more circles known as Simultaneous Multi-Round Auction(SMRA) would be implemented for the auction, according to a press release by HAKOM. An additional round of bidding through sealed bids will be conducted to determine the specific locations of the frequency blocks per bidder. The allocation of frequency bands will be done at a national level and regional levels in some parts.
This will ensure that ample business opportunities are created for smaller, regional operators. It will also encourage diversity of services and provide the end customers with alternatives to choose from. Such allocations would promote healthy competition in the market rather than establishing monopolies of certain big players in the market.
HAKOM noted that the introduction and implementation of 5G networks would act as one of the key factors to enable broadband access to all households and businesses in the country.
It will ensure reliable communication with low latency and would connect a large number of devices to the network. The three biggest operators in Croatia, namely Hrvatski Telekom (HT), A1 Hrvatska, and Telemach Hrvatska, have reportedly already announced their interest in the auction along with other players in the market.