Bulgaria’s telecommunications authority the Communications Regulation Commission concluded its auction for 5G spectrum in the 3.6 GHz band, raising a total of 13.4 million BGN (6.9 million EUR). Vivacom, PPF’s Telenor Bulgaria and A1 Bulgaria secured 100 MHz- national licences each after only seven bidding rounds. The concessions are valid for 20 years.
The regulator first aimed at auctioning spectrum earlier in March 2021 but changed its mind and decided to assign 100 MHz of spectrum to each country MNO without an auction. Vivacom contested in court the CRC decision to allocate spectrum without an auction. The CRC finally hold the auction to avoid time-consuming proceedings one month later than expected. The auction was successfully finalized on 6 April 2021. A1 and Telenor initially were ready to buy more unpaired spectrum blocks but the new process stated that players could only win one sole block.
All the spectrum available was assigned with assignment of the foreseen radio frequency resource to the three bidders as follows:
3500–3600 MHz to Telenor for 4.1 million BGN (2.1 million EUR).
3600–3700 MHz to А1 Bulgaria for 4.7 million BGN (2.4 million EUR).
3700–3800 MHz to Vivacom for 4.6 million BGN (2.35 million EUR).
All bids were above the initial reserve price set at 4 million BGN (2 million EUR). Highest bidders were given the first choice for their preferred blocks.
Vivacom and A1 launched 5G services in September 2020 and November 2020 respectively with temporary frequencies. Telenor has already held 5G trials.