Next 5G spectrum auction in Austria targets rural areas

5G mobile operators, who will buy 5G spectrum during the upcoming auction in Austria, will have to meet 5G internet roll out obligations in rural areas in the mountainous country, Reuters reported.
Verizon 5G network by EricssonAustria’s telecoms regulator RTR said on Monday that it will conduct the spectrum auction for 700 MHz, 1,500 MHz and 2,100 MHz bands during spring 2020.

The main focus of Austria’s first 5G auction of the 3.4 to 3.8 GHz band was on offering 5G data services in densely populated areas across the country. The 2020 licenses will not be divided among regions but be awarded nationwide, RTR chief Klaus Steinmaurer told a news conference in Vienna.

The telecom regulator plans to attach requirements and incentives to the allocation of the 5G frequencies in order to encourage 5G spectrum bidders to connect as many communities as possible.

RTR will offer new 5G licenses granted under the condition that the acquirer will provide fast internet for a certain number of communities that are currently poorly supplied. The buyer can supply more communities than required for a discount on the purchase price depending on the number of extra communities.

Potential 5G spectrum bidders are invited to discuss the conditions and targets until Oct. 21, Klaus Steinmaurer said.

Austria’s three major mobile network providers are A1 Telekom Austria, which is controlled by Mexican businessman Carlos Slim and the Austrian state, Deutsche Telekom’s Magenta Telekom and Chinese Hutchison’s Drei Austria.

Deutsche Telekom has said it would invest a total of 1 billion euros until 2021 to build its 5G network in Austria.

A1 Group, in which the state holds 28.4 percent stake, has said it would cooperate with state-controlled firms including rail company OeBB, motorway operator Asfinag and residential property group BIG in expanding and upgrading networks to be fast and keep costs low.

The government aims for main traffic routes to have 5G services available by the end of 2023, and to have virtually nationwide 5G coverage by the end of 2025.

The next round of 5G spectrum auction in Austria will provide more opportunities for network suppliers such as Huawei, Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung and ZTE to grab more revenue from telecoms.