Spectrum Pricing November 2021 – Latest update
This issue of our Spectrum Pricing Update sees the total value of spectrum sold exceeding 130 billion dollars for the first time this year. To date in 2021, counting only those auctions and assignments for which GSA has fee data, the total value of spectrum auctions and assignments has already reached $137.5 billion (including the clock-phase element from the recent US auction of C-Band spectrum), a huge increase on the 2020 value of $27.5 billion for the entire year. So, while the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 had a major impact on national plans for the assignment of spectrum for mobile services, recovery seems to have been rapid in 2021.
Pricing data supplied in this document only includes completed auctions for which GSA has all the prerequisite data to calculate a price per MHz of bandwidth per population for an individual band. To clarify, data is not included where GSA does not have information regarding price, bandwidth or population (this can be the case for regional assignments) or only has total information for multiple bands auctioned together.
GSA has been tracking the assignment and auction of C-Band spectrum in its various reports. Since the end of 2015, we have identified 51 countries/territories that have auctioned, assigned, or renewed licences for C-Band spectrum with the intention of opening up the frequency range for mobile broadband and 5G use. Since our last update in August 2021, two countries have concluded auctions of C-Band spectrum: Brazil and Portugal. In addition, the USA has reached the end of the clock-phase of its 3.45-3.55 GHz auction, however the frequency bidding stage is ongoing.
The prices paid for the C-Band spectrum have varied widely. The amount operators are prepared to spend depends on the degree of competition, the amount of suitable spectrum they already hold, the length of licence available, the extent of the coverage/performance requirements that are attached to the licence and the economic value of (the amount of money spent by) each mobile end user in the country/territory concerned. Figure 2 shows (where data is available) the prices paid for C-Band spectrum in 5G-relevant auctions since 2015.
Spectrum Pricing November 2021
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© GSA 2021
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