On 26 June 2019, the Czech Telecommunication Office (CTO) published the proposed terms for the planned auction of 5G frequencies and invited stakeholders to participate in a public consultation. The terms of the auction are now subject to a 30-day public consultation period. Following this, the terms will be consulted with the Czech Competition Authority and the European Commission.
A formal announcement should be made this autumn, with the auction itself taking place in January 2020. Under this scenario, the 5G frequencies would be allocated by April 2020. The CTU has announced minimum prices for the auction blocks, which amount to CZK 6.3 bn in total. The auctioned frequency licences will last from 12 to 15 years.
One of the main goals of the auction is to promote increased competition within the Czech market and to attract new market entrant(s). It is hoped that this will help to reduce the current high costs of mobile services in the Czech Republic. To this end, block allocation of the 2x10 MHz spectrum in the 700 MHz frequency band will be reserved exclusively for new operators.
Current operators applying for the 700 MHz frequency band will be required to commit to provide national roaming to any new operator successfully bidding in the upcoming auction. This will ensure that the new market entrants are able to use the communication networks of the current operators for a period of up to 6 years. The requirement aims to ensure that the new providers will be able to offer competitive services prior to establishing their own networks.
To ensure the effective use of the auctioned frequencies, CTO has proposed several development criteria that the participants must meet, including an obligation to promote territorial high-speed internet coverage. Within three years of the auction, the current operators will have to cover 95% of all municipalities that presently lack high-speed internet coverage.
The proposed terms for the planned auction, as well as other related documents, are available at this link.