Regulator plans to sell off 3.4-GHz-3.8-GHz frequencies in second quarter of 2018.

Austria’s telco regulator, the Regulatory Authority for Broadcasting and Telecommunications (RTR), this week announced it has begun work on allocating 3.4-GHz-3.8-GHz spectrum for 5G services.

The 5G standard itself is still under development and there is plenty of work to do before the industry can say with certainty exactly what constitutes 5G. One thing is clear though: a lot of spectrum is needed in order to meet the kind of 5G performance requirements being bandied about.

"The demands on mobile networks for even higher performance are constantly increasing," said Johannes Gungl, managing director for the RTR’s telecommunications and post division, in a statement on Monday.

"We are already working intensively on preparing the allocation of frequencies for this [5G] standard," he added, noting that the RTR conducted a consultation on proposed 5G spectrum in spring 2016.

As per its spectrum release plan, the RTR plans to release the tender document for the 3.4-GHz-3.8-GHz auction either at the end of this year or the beginning of 2018. The auction will take place not before the second quarter of next year, the RTR said.

The RTR also plans to auction frequencies in the 700 MHz and 1500 MHz bands for mobile broadband services in the second quarter of 2019. Furthermore, 2020 has been earmarked for a possible auction of 2.3-GHz spectrum and additional 1500-MHz spectrum.