Estonia's 5G frequency license auction bids rise to €2.6 million

Bids in the 5G frequency license auction have risen to a million euros over the asking price in the three days since its launch.

The first of Estonia's three frequency bands was put up for auction on Tuesday. With four entrants in the 5G market — Elisa, Telia, Tele2 and Bite — intense competition is expected.

The starting price was €1.6 million and by Thursday it had risen to €2.6 million, the Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority said.

The winner of the first round cannot bid for the second or third licenses.

The frequency bands 3410-3480 MHz and 3600-3660 MHz were put up for auction on Tuesday. The lower bands are easier to use as those that exceeded 3600 MHz have restrictions.

For example, in Eastern Estonia, permission to operate must be sought from Russia as the country uses the same band for satellite communications.

The competition works on the assumption that Russia will remove the restrictions so the frequency bands can be divided into three: 3410-3540 MHz, 3540-3670 MHz and 3670-3800 MHz.

However, nobody knows if or when this will happen. 

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Editor: Helen Wright

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