The fifth-generation mobile communications (5G) frequency licenses auction drew four bids, the Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority (TTJA) said on Tuesday.
Applications for participation were submitted by Estonian mobile telecommunication operators Telia Eesti AS, Elisa Eesti AS, Tele2 Eesti AS and their Lithuanian counterpart BITE LIETUVA UAB, the agency communicated.
"I am glad the competition has attracted four participants, including a newcomer. This demonstrates that telecoms take a keen interest in developing the Estonian market and gives us confidence that 5G services will hit the market as soon as possible," Minister of Entrepreneurship and IT Andres Sutt (Reform) said in a press release.
The minister added that three wide and equal frequency ranges will give everyone who qualifies the best possible starting position for 5G developments, ensuring quality of serves and competition.
"The Estonian consumer only stands to gain from competition as it leads to a higher-quality service and sensible prices," Sutt remarked.
The TTJA will be checking the bidders and bids for conformity this week and invite those who qualify for the first auction.
The start of the first frequency license auction will be determined inside one week. The duration of the auctions will depend on the number of participants and rounds of bids per permit. The watchdog predicts that frequency licenses will be issued in June of this year after which telecoms can start installing 5G infrastructure.
The TTJA on February 19, 2019 declared a public competition for three frequency licenses in the 3,410-3,800 MHz range. The competition resumed in February of this year. The starting price for every license is €1,597,000.
Editor: Marcus Turovski