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German 5G spectrum costs escalate; no common pattern to global auctions

Germany’s controversial 5G spectrum auction has raised €6bn ($6.6bn) so far (as of May 23), after 10 weeks and 405 rounds of bidding. This is sparking fears that the major European economies will increasingly see the return of inflated spectrum prices, as already seen in Italy, which damages the 5G deployment case. However, auctions around the world are not revealing a common pattern of spectrum value or regulatory conditions. The operators continue to complain about the auction conditions set by the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA). They have been deeply opposed to the decision to set aside spectrum for industrial use, in response to demands from the powerful manufacturing and automotive sectors. They have also threatened legal action over coverage requirements…

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