Of the 23 countries identified by the study as having allocated 5G spectrum, Italy’s is the most expensive at $0.424 per MHz per person
Since 2015, the Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) has identified 23 countries that have auctioned or allocated C-band for 5G usage.
The prices fluctuate drastically between these countries based on a myriad of factors: the amount of competition; the amount of suitable spectrum already owned by the telcos; the valid duration of the specific licence; the extent of the coverage/performance requirements that are attached to the licence; and, of course, the predicted profitability of the investment based on mobile consumer expenditure.
The study shows the cheapest rates could be found in Slovakia, Norway, and Romania, where the price per MHz per person was as low as $0.002. In contrast, the most expensive fees were found in Italy, at a comparably huge 0.424 per MHz per person.
As of the end of last year, France has finally announced its C-band allocation plans. Its initial pricing of €350 million per 50 MHz would put it roughly in the middle of the price ranges, at $0.117 per MHz per person.
Meanwhile, Telecoms Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)’s spectrum auction is due later this month, with the regulator refusing to reduce its reserve price of ~$69.2 million per unit of spectrum. This would put its price per MHz per person at around $0.052, a price decried as too high for India’s mobile operators, which are currently struggling with the financial fallout of last year’s adjusted gross revenue judgement costing $13.9 billion.
As more countries host their own 5G spectrum allocation this coming year, the lay of the land will become clearer as to exactly which countries represent the best investments for telcos.
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