The regulator stated five groups won spectrum, paying a total of 5.6 billion crowns (211 million EUR)
Czech telecoms regulator CTU announced the completion of the auction of the 700 MHz and 3.4-3.6 GHz frequency bands. The regulator stated five groups won spectrum, paying a total of 5.6 billion crowns (211 million EUR). Despite government hopes that a fourth major player would be established through the auction, incumbents O2, T-Mobile and Vodafone obtained most of the available frequencies.
Each of the incumbents won spectrum in the 700 MHz band, which they will use to deploy nationwide networks. O2 acquired a 2×10 MHz block conditional on a commitment to developing emergency and security services, as well as offering national roaming.
In the 3.4-3.6 GHz spectrum band, 20 MHz blocks won by 02 and CentroNet were attached to the obligation of leasing frequencies to support Industry 4.0. The CTU noted that all the offered blocks in this band were successfully allocated in the auction, following successful bids from Vodafone, T-Mobile, and Nordic Telecom. Two other groups, PODA and Sev.en Innovations, participated in bidding but were not successful.
The Czech telecoms regulator auctioned 3.6-3.8 GHz spectrum in July 2017 but operators counted on the 5G auction in the 700 MHz and 3.4-3.6 GHz for a nationwide expansion of the network. In early October 2020, Vodafone Czech Republic announced the launch of its NSA 5G network in the cities of Prague, Brno, Usti nad Labem, Jesenik, and Karlovy Vary, using Dynamic Spectrum Sharing technology. Rival O2 launched 5G services in July 2020 in selected parts of Prague and Koline using the 3.7 GHz band. T-Mobile’s Czech unit targeted early November to kick off 5G commercial operations in the cities of Prague and Brno, also using Dynamic Spectrum Sharing technology.
In late October 2020, Czech telecoms network operator CETIN, part of investment group PPF, which also holds 81% in mobile operator O2 Czech Republic, announced it will use technology from Swedish group Ericsson to build 5G networks. CETIN is the first Czech network to signal its choice for building the new system.