Displaying items by tag: spectrum licenses

US completes its first 5G auction

Written on Tuesday, 29 January 2019 12:20

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has completed its first 5G auction, with a sale of 28GHz spectrum licensing which raised a cool $702 million.

The chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai expressed his delight at the successful completion of the first auction and said that it represented a significant step towards positioning the United States as a leader in 5G.

In addition to this, he declared that it was the objective of the commission to continue to pursue its strategy of pushing more spectrum licenses into the commercial marketplace. It was also confirmed that a 24GHz auction will take place in the next few months, and that will be followed by three more spectrum bands later in 2019.

The chairman of the FCC said that by that spectrum auctions were critical in helping it execute on its goal which enables US consumers to benefit from the benefits provided by 5G.

He said, “By making more spectrum licenses available, promoting the deployment of wireless infrastructure, and modernising our regulations – the three components of the FCC’s 5G FAST plan – we’ll ensure that American consumers reap the substantial benefits that will come from the next generation of wireless connectivity.

A total of 3,072 licences offered in 425MHz blocks were up for grabs in the 28GHz auction. Of these, only 107 received no acceptable bids. However, the identities of the winning bidders will remain private and anonymous until the close of the 24GHz auction.

Earlier in the month the FCC had reiterated its desire to continue to work on scheduled spectrum auctions, as it prepared to temporarily close down most of its other operations.

In November 2018, the agency had said it set strict performance requirements for the licences to encourage the swift rollout of 5G services - and will take dim view on any attempt to seek a waiver of the requirements ahead of construction deadlines.

Published in Telecom Operators

The European Commission (EC) will have to fight against national EU telecom regulators after announcing that it seeks to increase spectrum license terms to 25 years. The increased term of spectrum licenses in the EU from 10 years to 25 years could thrust the block into a head-to-head battle with EU Member States’ national regulators.

The proposal will be part of a planned reform of the European Union’s telecommunications regulations, which is set to be published in September, and could be put into practice by 2018. But in order for the proposal to become law, all member states must agree, as does the European parliament. The reason behind the proposal is that the EC believes longer licenses will create a more stable market for operators in Europe, and consequently increase their investment in the telecoms sector.

Under the proposal, spectrum licenses would last for 25 years, according to an EU document seen by Reuters. The document says the EC would have the power to set guidance on some conditions during the assignment process, including deadlines for spectrum allocation and spectrum sharing. Reports suggest that the proposal will likely be welcomed by EU telecom operators, but Reuters notes that the EC could end up clashing with member states’ national regulators, which currently handle the allocation of spectrum.

The reason EU operators might be hesitant about the proposal is because spectrum auction sales have proven to be a lucrative source of income for member states’ economies. This boost in their economies could be threatened by the EC’s plan to amend the licensing process. But that’s not the only thing to worry about. The proposal also indicates that the EC would have the ability to issue binding terms on how spectrum is allocated, which would include setting deadlines on spectrum auctions and requiring spectrum sharing agreements to be put in place, according to Reuters.

On the bright side, the EC also proposes that members of the EU would have the right to coordinate their spectrum sales. But this could lead to the issue of multi-country or region-wide licenses, the report said. There is clearly still much about the proposal that needs to be discussed by the EU and it will need to be cleared by the European Parliament before it can be enacted into law.

In addition to the spectrum proposal, the EC is also looking to tighten regulation of OTT messaging services such as WhatsApp and Skype in an update of the EU’s electronic privacy rules. France has also proposed a crackdown of end-to-end encryption messaging services which have been popularly used by terrorists.

Published in Government