Radio spectrum (700 MHz band) auctioned for 5G technology development in Spain

1 June 2021

With the aim of promoting 5G technology, the aforementioned Order ETD/534/2021 gives notice of a public auction and sets out the specifications and rules that will govern the bidding process for seven concessions for the exclusive use of the radio spectrum (State-owned property concessions) in the 700 MHz band (694 to 790 MHz).

The bidding will be conducted through a simultaneous ascending multi-round auction mechanism, which will be carried out via the Internet, using a secure Electronic Auction Platform (PES, for its acronym in Spanish).

Natural or legal persons that hold the status of electronic communications operator, in accordance with the provisions of Articles 6 and 7 of the Telecommunications Act 9/2014 of 9 May (notification to the Spanish Markets and Competition Authority and registration in the appropriate Register of operators), may bid in the auction.

The application (Schedule II to the referred Order) must be submitted at the gateway of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation before 1 p.m. on 2 July 2021.

Among other documents, bidders will have to provide proof to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation of posting of the provisional guarantee in the form of a bond for the amount stated in clause 4.6 (different depending on the type of concession sought and the eligibility points requested).

In the operation of these concessions, any technology may be used (technological neutrality) and any type of electronic communications services may be provided (service neutrality).

All the State-owned property concessions are nationwide and are granted for a minimum period of twenty years, extendable once for a further twenty years, depending on the assessment of the criteria set out in the order (clause 19).

The cover targets provided in the notice must be reached by 30 June 2025 at the latest, with various intermediate milestones (cf. clauses 24 and 25).

The operation and use of the State-owned property concessions are carried out on a competitive basis and will be granted on a non-exclusive basis, meaning that the Public Administration may grant new concessions in the future, without this giving rise to any right to compensation in favour of the successful bidders.


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