Global Spectrum Auctions Drop in 2023 and 2022 from $140 bn in 2021: GSA

The Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) has revealed that spectrum auctions have dropped significantly in 2023 and 2022 as compared with 2021.
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GSA has reported a staggering surge in spectrum auctions and assignments, with the total value reaching an impressive $140.1 billion in 2021, showcasing a remarkable upswing compared to the $37.7 billion recorded in 2020. The data, based on auctions and assignments for which GSA has fee information, highlights the growing demand and investment in spectrum resources to fuel the expansion of mobile broadband and 5G technologies globally.

In the year 2022, a significant allocation of $26.6 billion was recorded, with a substantial portion attributed to the recent spectrum auction in India. The burgeoning appetite for spectrum rights further solidifies the crucial role of these allocations in shaping the future of telecommunications.

As of 2023, the momentum continues, with a total of $556 million worth of spectrum auctioned and assigned thus far. This year’s activities showcase a continued interest in acquiring spectrum to meet the evolving needs of the mobile broadband and 5G landscape.

The pricing data provided by GSA is focused on completed auctions for which all prerequisite data is available to calculate a price per MHz of bandwidth per population for a specific band. GSA clarified that data not meeting these criteria, such as missing information about price, bandwidth, or population, or data encompassing multiple bands auctioned together, is not included in the provided pricing insights.

One area of particular focus for GSA has been the assignment and auction of C-band spectrum. Over the years, 60 countries and territories have participated in auctioning, assigning, or renewing licenses for C-band spectrum, demonstrating a concerted effort to open up this frequency range for mobile broadband and 5G usage.

Since August 2022, countries including Canada, Kazakhstan, Montenegro, Nigeria, and Uruguay have successfully completed auctions in the C-band spectrum. Most recently, in August 2023, Georgia also concluded a notable C-band auction, underlining the global commitment to advancing mobile technologies through spectrum allocation.

The unprecedented surge in spectrum auctions underscores the pivotal role of these allocations in shaping the future of telecommunications, as countries and territories worldwide vie for spectrum resources to accelerate the deployment and adoption of cutting-edge mobile technologies.