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ComReg publishes results for 26 GHz award

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The Irish telecommunications regulator (ComReg) has published the results of its recent award of rights of use for spectrum in the 26 GHz band.

In total, 19 2×28 MHz blocks of spectrum in the range 24.745 – 25.277 GHz paired with 25.753 – 26.285 GHz were on offer, with licensees allowed to operate Point-to-Point links on a national, terrestrial basis.

The award was designed to follow a two-stage process. A sealed-bid combinatorial auction was first run to assign the spectrum as frequency-generic lots, with prices set on the basis of opportunity cost. The specific (contiguous) frequency ranges allocated to winners were then established in a follow-up assignment stage, also comprising a sealed-bid auction with opportunity cost based pricing, which enabled winners to compete for different parts of the band.

A competition cap was applied to restrict bidders to winning no more than five 2 x 28 MHz lots.

The award process resulted in three winners being assigned rights of use for spectrum in the 26 GHz band. These are Vodafone Ireland Limited, Three Ireland Limited, and Meteor Mobile Communications Limited, each of which won five 2×28 MHz blocks (the maximum possible).

For the rights of use awarded, Three and Meteor will each pay an upfront fee of €350k, while Vodafone’s upfront fee is higher at €550k due to an additional price it must pay for being awarded the specific frequency range it will be assigned. All three winners will also be required to pay approximately €1.25 million each in spectrum usage fees, paid in annual instalments over the 10-year licence duration. In total, the fees to be paid for these licences will be approximately €5 million.

DotEcon advised ComReg on the design and implementation of the award and provided software tools for determining the winners and prices to be paid.

More information on the award process and the results can be found on the ComReg website.