Switzerland announces 2018 spectrum auction

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Switzerland is gearing up for a wide-ranging spectrum auction next year, as the country's authorities look to solve LTE bottleneck issues and lay the groundwork for 5G.

The country's Federal Communication Commission (ComCom) is looking to sell 2x30MHz FDD and 1x15 supplemental downlink (SDL) in the 700MHz band, 1x91MHz SDL at 1400MHz, and 1x300MHz TDD in the 3.5.3.6GHz and 3.6-3.8GHz bands.

Additionally, ComCom will also sell 2x5MHz of FDD at 2.6GHz, which is the unsold remanants of the country's last spectrum auction in 2012.

The framework of the auction is expected to be drawn up by next spring and then opened up to tender. ComCom said it expected to start awarding the spectrum during the second half of next year.

In a statement, ComCom said: "A public consultation carried out this summer indicated that there is great interest in these new frequencies.

"On the one hand they will help overcome capacity bottlenecks in today's 4G mobile radio networks. On the other hand these are important frequencies for the 5G mobile radio technology of the future.

"The timely introduction of 5G is of great importance for digitisation and innovation in Switzerland."

The auction announcement follows a public consultation about the allocation of new frequencies, which was held during the summer.

Swisscom has previously criticised the country's authorities for a regulatory regime that is "10 times stricter" than its European counterparts.

The operator's CTO told Mobile Europe in September that regulatory frameworks need to change in order for telcos to take advantage of the new technology.