CTU sets out stall to auction off 3.6GHz-3.8GHz band for broadband services

3 Jun 2014

The Czech Telecommunications Office (CTU) has published a consultation document setting out the basic principles of awarding rights for the use of radio frequencies for providing electronic communication networks in the 3600MHz–3800MHz frequency band. In a statement published on its website, the regulator says it intends to auction off the spectrum for the provision of electronic communication services, in particular broadband, high speed internet access in 2014. The CTU’s decision follows industry agreement reached last year following a discussion document on licensing the (wider) 3.4GHz–3.8GHz band.

As such, the CTU is looking to hold a tender in the form of an SMRA-type electronic auction. At the auction stage, the watchdog intends to allow offers to be made for three joined sections of the spectrum of a contiguous size of 40MHz and one of a contiguous size of 80MHz. In the allocation stage which follows, the CTU will allow the winning bidders, or some of them, to reach an agreement on the placing of individual abstract blocks, and if no agreement is made, it will instead determine specific block placement by way of drawing lots. At the same time, the CTU will set out the coverage conditions linked to the frequency awards, including a rule that the winners must ensure that commercial services are established within a period of five years of the allocation coming into legal force, such that:

a) the publicly-accessible services provided on these networks are accessible to a minimum of 10% of the population in the case that the holder obtains an allocation of radio frequencies of a size that does not exceed 40MHz of the spectrum; and

b) 85% of all municipalities with a population of more than 5,000 are covered in the case that the holder obtains an allocation of radio frequencies in excess of 40MHz of spectrum.

The CTU requested that all interested parties submit their views or any remarks they might have on the proposed principles by 31 May 2014.

Separately, the CTU has reportedly published a series of decisions concerning price regulation on call termination in public (switched) fixed telephony networks for a number of Czech operators, namely: Air Telecom, BT-backed Axfone, CD Telematika, CRa, Cesky Bezdrat, Coprosys, Dial Telecom, GTS Czech, Ha-vel Internet, Ipex, JStel, Nej TV, New Telekom, Rio Media Smart Comp. Spinoco CR, Telco Pro Services, Telefonica O2 CR, T-Mobile CR, UPC, Vodafone CR, xPhoNet CZ and Za200.czobchod.

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