The GSMA has welcomed the Germany’s decision to release the entire 3.4 to 3.8 GHz band (C-Band) for 5G services in a timely manner and asked the regulator to keep 5G reserve prices at a minimum level.
GSMA analysis on spectrum pricing shows a clear link between high spectrum prices and poorer coverage, as well as more expensive and lower quality mobile broadband services, all of which hinder the take-up of services by consumers. Based on this insight, reserve prices for the upcoming spectrum award in Germany should be set at a minimum level so that it allows the market to determine the true value of spectrum.
The GSMA believes there are other conditions proposed for the award that should be reconsidered by the regulator, Bundesnetzagentur. The current proposal, which includes potential roaming and wholesale obligations attached to the 3.4 to 3.7 GHz band, is a stark reversal of Bundesnetzagentur’s recent position, and introduces a critical level of uncertainty for operators investing in 5G networks in Germany.
“The C-Band is the most vital frequency band for 5G. Germany is demonstrating 5G leadership in the timely release of this vital spectrum, but risks undercutting its 5G future with unnecessary obligations,” said Mats Granryd, Director General, GSMA.
“Spectrum is a limited resource and it must be used and managed as efficiently as possible to ensure a 5G future that will benefit all,” added Granryd.
To provide extensive rural coverage of mobile services, a combination of frequencies will be essential. Therefore, coverage obligations should provide the possibility of using any – and all – spectrum at an operator’s disposal to achieve the ambitious coverage conditions and deliver the best quality of services for consumers and industry. At the same time, coverage obligations should be realistic and not overburden mobile network operators.