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Even where regulators are encouraging new players, risks remain

There are exceptions to the gloomy picture outlined in the previous item. As noted, Ireland – whose regulator, ComReg, has often awarded short term or low cost licences – awarded a 3.5 GHz licence to Airspan and another to fixed wireless provider Imagine. And it split the airwaves between rural and urban allocations to ensure 5G would reach country areas too. In total, in that auction (concluded in May 2017), 350 MHz of spectrum in the 3.6 GHz band were sold for more than €78m, split between upfront fees and usage charges. Vodafone Ireland won the biggest chunk, claiming 85 MHz for use in rural regions and 105 MHz for the cities, at a cost of €22.8m. Meteor, a subsidiary of…

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