Report

Spectrum Pricing Update – May 2021

Spectrum Pricing Update – May 2021

GSA Spectrum Pricing Update to end-April 2021

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 nearly $96 billion, a huge increase on the 2020 value of $28 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 has been rapid in 2021.

Auction 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 overlapping regional assignments) or only has total information for multiple bands auctioned together.

Currencies are converted to US$ at annual average exchange rates, or in the case of auctions in 2021, the average exchange rates for the year to 31 March 2021.

C-Band auction/assignment update

GSA has been tracking the assignment and auction of C-Band spectrum in its various reports. Since the end of 2015, it has identified 44 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 December 2020, seven countries have concluded auctions of C-Band spectrum: Bulgaria, Chile, Cyprus, Denmark, Sweden, the UK and the US.

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.

Of the 2021 auctions that GSA has fee data for, only the US auction achieved a higher than recent average price. The 2021 US auction of 3.7–3.98 GHz delivered a record high price for C-Band spectrum of $0.875/MHz/Pop, significantly higher than the recent average price of $0.123/MHz/Pop.

Please note that our calculated price for the 2021 US auction of 3.7–3.98 GHz of $0.875/MHz/Pop is lower than some sources report. This is due to our calculations using United Nations 2020 population data for the US, rather than the 2010 population data provided by the FCC as part of their documentation for that auction.

Figure 3 shows C-band spectrum auction prices paid in date order.

Spectrum Pricing Update – May 2021

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Spectrum Pricing Update - May 2021

Spectrum Pricing Update – May 2021

GSA Spectrum Pricing Update to end-April 2021

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 nearly $96 billion, a huge increase on the 2020 value of $28 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 has been rapid in 2021.

Auction 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 overlapping regional assignments) or only has total information for multiple bands auctioned together.

Currencies are converted to US$ at annual average exchange rates, or in the case of auctions in 2021, the average exchange rates for the year to 31 March 2021.

C-Band auction/assignment update

GSA has been tracking the assignment and auction of C-Band spectrum in its various reports. Since the end of 2015, it has identified 44 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 December 2020, seven countries have concluded auctions of C-Band spectrum: Bulgaria, Chile, Cyprus, Denmark, Sweden, the UK and the US.

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.

Of the 2021 auctions that GSA has fee data for, only the US auction achieved a higher than recent average price. The 2021 US auction of 3.7–3.98 GHz delivered a record high price for C-Band spectrum of $0.875/MHz/Pop, significantly higher than the recent average price of $0.123/MHz/Pop.

Please note that our calculated price for the 2021 US auction of 3.7–3.98 GHz of $0.875/MHz/Pop is lower than some sources report. This is due to our calculations using United Nations 2020 population data for the US, rather than the 2010 population data provided by the FCC as part of their documentation for that auction.

Figure 3 shows C-band spectrum auction prices paid in date order.

Spectrum Pricing Update – May 2021

https://gsacom.com

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Spectrum Pricing Update - May 2021
Spectrum Pricing Update – May 2021
Date: 17th May 2021
Type: GSA Report
Technology: Spectrum
Originator: GSA

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