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Croatia pulls in €48 million from 5G spectrum sale

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The three national operators bought spectrum and Italy's EOLO gained a national licence.

In the Croatian auction for spectrum in the 700MHz, 3.6GHz and 26GHz frequency bands, incumbent Hrvatski Telekom invested the most, according to Croatian telecom regulator HAKOM, gaining the biggest blocks of spectrum.

Incumbent powers on

Hrvatski Telekom lost no time in announcing it would have the biggest and fastest 5G network: Deutsche Telekom Europe holds a majority share of 51.4% in the operator.

It came out of the auction with 2x10MHz block of 700MHz (HRK 48.9 million), 120MHz at 3.6GHz (HRK 66.8 million), and two 200MHz blocks at 26GHz (HRK 15 million).

Hrvatski Telekom has an outstanding 4G network which it can upgrade to 5G, using the same spectrum and Ericsson's dynamic spectrum sharing technology. It has since awarded Ericsson an exclusive contract for the RAN.

New national player

The Italian fixed wireless access (FWA) operator EOLO, won a nationwide 200MHz block of 26GHz spectrum (HRK 7.5 million), along with some regional 3.6GHz license concessions (HRK 3.4 million). Last month the Partners Group announced an agreement to buy a 75% stake in EOLO.

Telemach Hrvatska and A1 Hrvatska (part of Telekom Austria Group) also won nationwide licences, paying  a total of HRK108 million and HRK105 million respectively. Each secured a 2x10MHz block at 700MHz, a 100MHz slice at 3.6GHz, and a 200MHz chunk at 26GHz.

BeeIN, Digicom, Eco Net, Markoja and Terrakom also obtained regional licences.

The national licences last 15 years, with some coverage obligations for the 700MHz spectrum.