Spectrum auction value reaches $27.5 bn in 2020: GSA

The latest GSA report revealed that the total value of spectrum auctions and assignments reached around $27.5 billion in 2020.
5G spectrum auction in Dutch
The global COVID-19 epidemic had a major impact on national plans for the assignment of spectrum for mobile services, GSA said.

Since GSA’s last update in November 2020, two countries that have concluded auctions of C-Band spectrum are Czechia and Greece.

The amount operators are prepared to spend paid for the C-Band spectrum depends on the degree of competition, the amount of suitable spectrum they already hold, the length of licence available, the extent of the coverage/performance requirements that are attached to the licence and the amount of money spent by each mobile end user in the country.

Prices in the Czech and Greek auctions were both below the recent average of $0.105/ MHz/Pop, at approximately $0.032/MHz/Pop and $0.028/MHz/Pop respectively.

mmWave auctions

Fewer major mmWave auctions designed to support 5G deployment have yet taken place. Since GSA’s last report in November 2020, only Greece has completed an auction of mmWave spectrum. Australia has offered a number of mmWave spectrum licences through an administrative procedure, but exact details have not yet been revealed.

The prices paid for mmWave spectrum have been much lower than the prices paid for C-Band spectrum to date, with the price per MHz per Pop ranging from just over $0.001 in the USA for spectrum at 47 GHz to just over $0.009/MHz/Pop for spectrum at 37 and 39 GHz, also in the USA.

Spectrum auction price in Greece was lower than the average of $0.0037/ MHz/Pop at $0.0018/MHz/Pop Auctions/assignments of spectrum at 700 MHz Spectrum at 700 MHz. However, it has now also gained interest for use in 5G networks, as it affords the ability to achieve wide 5G coverage, quickly.

There were numerous auctions / assignments of spectrum at 700 MHz in 2020 and many more are planned for 2021.

Spectrum at 700 MHz has generated an average of $0.417/ MHz/Pop in assignments/auctions since 2015 for which it has data.

The auction or assignment of 700 MHz, C-Band or mmWave spectrum is expected to continue apace during 2021. Auctions/ assignments are ongoing or are expected to begin in around 50 countries/ territories by the end of 2021.