Five countries assigned a total of 748 MHz of new spectrum for nationwide mobile broadband services in Q4 2019. This included the world’s first auction for the 4.9 GHz band.
Parts of the band have already been assigned in mainland China and Japan by beauty contest, but Hong Kong held the first public auction of these frequencies, in October 2019. This auction revealed how operators might value the band in other countries.
Altogether, Hong Kong’s three auctions accounted for slightly more than half of the new assignments tracked in the PolicyTracker Spectrum Database (PSD) in Q4 2019. The PSD has also been updated to take into account Q4 2019 assignments in Colombia, El Salvador, Nepal, and Uruguay.
Although the majority of changes to the PSD in Q3 2019 were from trades or mergers and acquisitions, in Q4 only one such change was tracked, arising from a trade of the 3.5 GHz band in Mexico.
As usual, we also updated the database with more detailed and/or corrected information from several countries. For example, we have included information about new regional short-term 3.5 GHz band licences in France, and a 2 x 4 MHz nationwide assignment in the 400 MHz band in Ireland that is partly for smart grids and partly technology neutral.
The PSD tracks changes to global spectrum allocations and assignments from auctions, beauty contests, renewals or the results of trades. It is updated quarterly and is available as part of our Spectrum Research Service.•