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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Friday, 06.12.2019, 16:05

Estonia's 3 major telecom firms to participate in 5G frequency auction

BC, Tallinn, 26.02.2019.Print version
All of Estonia's three biggest telecom providers are about to take part in the auction for 5G frequency permits, in which three frequency ranges have been put up for auction and the deadline of bids was the morning of March 25, informed LETA/BNS.

Executives at all of the companies of the so-called big three -- Telia, Tele2 and Elisa -- confirmed that their companies will take part in the auction.

The Estonian Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority on Feb. 19 announced a public competition for granting frequency permits in the frequency range of 3,410 to 3,800 MHz, which the agency described as the most important 5G frequency range of the near future.

The agency has put up for auction three bandwidth permits with a starting price of 1,597,000 euros each. From all participants in the auction a security deposit of 200,000 euros is required.

"In March last year, Elisa tested a standardized 5G network as the first operator in Estonia, in June the company made the world's first 5G call between two countries and opened the first standing 5G network operating on a test frequency in Estonia, which by now has expanded to three locations across Tallinn," Toomas Polli, head of technology at the Estonian operation of Elisa, said. 

He described 5G as bringing with it a revolutionary leap on the technology landscape and enabling the creation of new business models that we are unable to even dream of today.

The head of radio network at the Estonian operation of Tele2, Tanel Sarri, told that the company will definitely take part in the auction as it is planning to open a 5G network of its own in Estonia. Sarri said that another reason for their taking part in the competition was that equipment is expected to support 5G also in that specific frequency range in the initial stage.

"Later on there will definitely be more 5G frequencies, just like 4G has been taking over frequency range from older technologies over the years whose use and significance are declining," Sarri said.

Speaking on behalf of Telia Eesti, technology chief Kalle Arula said that prompt organization of the auction will enable to put the first commercial 5G solutions before clients soon. According to Arula, clients of Telia have been waiting for the arrival of 5G and are full of desire to employ it. In order for this to happen, Telia and its partners have made significant preparations to date.

"The time is not far when the first 5G service areas will be opened in Estonia for corporate and private customers alike," Arula said.

The initial 5G frequencies that are being auctioned are in the 3.6 GHz range, the price of which has been developed in accordance with the Electronic Communications Act and considering radio frequencies as a limited state resource, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications has said.

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