Italy Fetches 6,55 Billion Euros in a Record 5G Auction
Italy’s auction of 5G spectrum ended Tuesday, fetching 6.55 billion euros for the country’s government, more than twice the target, according to Bloomberg.
The auction ended on the 14th day and the bids focused on 3.7-gigahertz airwaves, according to a statement by Economic Development Ministry. That piece of spectrum alone attracted about 4.35 billion euros, the agency said.
Telecom Italia, the country’s former phone monopoly, said it invested 2.4 billion euros in the auction. Vodafone Group invested 2.4 billion euros on Italy’s 5G auction, according to a company statement. Wind Tre spent 517 million euros.
The prices broke records on a per-user and per-megahertz basis for 3.7 GHz spectrum, which works best in built-up areas. The country’s main carriers have spent two weeks outbidding each other in an auction where key bands of spectrum was relatively limited.
The spiraling prices for airwaves needed to run 5G services in Italy are a warning light for carriers across Europe as they pile into the new technology. Italy’s biggest phone companies had threatened to boycott the sale because they said the bidding rules were too rigid and the starting price was too high.