Second 5G license auction in Estonia starts Friday

Cellular mast.
Cellular mast. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The auction process of the second 5G broadband cellular network license to be issued in Estonia begins Friday, with a start price of over €1.5 million.

Three telecoms companies are bidding, while Elisa Eesti will not be – since the company already won the first licensing auction.

Director of the Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority (TTJA) Kristi Talving said that: "Despite the fact that there is one fewer participant this time, it can be expected that the tension will not dissipate. The 57 rounds that took place during the first permit auction demonstrated that competition is fierce and the interest of telecom operators in providing 5G communication services is high."

The second licensing auction has a starting price of €1,597,000, while Tele 2 Eesti, Telia Eesti AS and Lithuanian company UAB Bite Lietuva are entitled to take part.

Bidding increments are set at €100,000.

Three 5G networks in the 3410-3800 MHz and the license winners will be required to provide 5G coverage in Estonia to at least version 15 standard, within a year of being issued with the license, and must install a minimum of 200 base stations within two years – 100 of these must be located in Harju County, the most populous region of Estonia, while each of the remaining 14 counties in Estonia must have a minimum of five 5G stations located in their territories.

The three bands corresponding to the three acutions are: 3480-3540 MHz, 3660-3730 MHz and 3540-3670 MHz.

Elisa Eesti paid a one-time fee of €7,206,208 after winning the first auction last month, the TTJA says. The company must also pay an annual state fee of €81,900.

Neither Elisa Eesti nor the winner of the current auction will be permitted to take part in the third and final auction.

5G generally had started to become a reality worldwide over the past four years, replacing the 4G networks in use over the preceding 10+ years. 3G entered in service in over 20 years ago; 2G, in the 1990s.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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