Through the Public Consultancy Process, Subtel has outlined the following main general conditions for the future public tender for spectrum licences for commercial use:
- Following global trends, the licences shall be granted for the 700 MHz, AWS, 3.5 GHz and 28 GHz bands, with an available bandwidth of 20 MHz, 30 MHz, 40 MHz and 850 MHz, respectively, with a minimum speed requirement and an expected coverage for each band.
- Taking into account that the development of 5G needs a portfolio of radio spectrum bands, the public tender shall follow a combinatorial-of-bands type of model, with each band subdivided into one or more blocks.
- The technology required for the implementation of the technical project will be that which complies with 3GPP’s Release 15 or higher.
It should be noted that these characteristics and conditions may vary depending on availability of new equipment or following the World Radiocommunication Conference held in November 2019.
In relation to the 3.5 GHz band, from 2001 to 2005 it was licensed to incumbents for wireless access services. However, in June 2018, Subtel ordered a “freeze” on the granting of licences for the purpose of reserving the 3.5 GHz band for its study as spectrum with potential to develop 5G, and also to avoid the telcos deploying 5G without proper governmental regulation. The decision to “freeze” the licences granted was then partially reverted to the extent that telcos can use their allotted spectrum in the band but only for data transmission equipment for fixed wireless services.
In February 2019, Subtel announced that it will grant limited spectrum permits in the 3.5 GHz band to any industry that plans to experiment with 5G in the development of big data, IoT, telemedicine, self-driving cars, etc., until the public tender for the spectrum licences takes place