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2021.10.25 15:30

Lithuania announces 5G frequency auction after barring Chinese equipment

Remigijus Bielinskas, BNS2021.10.25 15:30

The Lithuanian Communications Regulatory Authority (RRT) has announced an auction for three 700 MHz radio frequency blocks for 5G mobile networks.

“Following discussions and public consultations with market participants and all interested institutions, we announce an auction and invite operators to participate in it,” RRT Director Feliksas Dobrovolskis said in a press release on Monday.

Read more: Lithuania bans ‘unreliable’ technologies from its 5G network

Up for auction are 20-year licenses for three radio frequency blocks: one 2x10 MHz and two 2x5 MHz from the 713-733 MHz and 768-788 MHz bands.

The starting price is 5 million euros for the 2x10 MHz block and 3 million euros for the 2x5 MHz blocks each.

One bidder will only be allowed to bid for one block of radio frequencies.

The winning bidders will be required to make e-communication services of at least 30 Mbps or 15 Mbps, depending on the size of the block, available to 80 percent of Lithuanian households, international transport corridors and motorways, railways, airports and seaports.

The winners will have to roll out services in at least one of the country's five major cities and towns within six months and in all of them from early 2024.

Last spring, the Lithuanian parliament amended legislation to bar “unreliable” manufacturers and suppliers from participating in the deployment of 5G mobile communications in the country.

Lithuania's military intelligence has named Huawei's involvement in the development of the 5G wireless network infrastructure as a risk factor, arguing that China's laws require business companies to share information with the government.

Operators that already use “unreliable” equipment have until the end of 2025 to replace it. Otherwise, they will not be eligible to apply for state-allocated radio frequencies for 5G networks.

On October 12, the Lithuanian Transport Ministry, other public authorities and telecoms companies signed a memorandum on 5G development in the country.

Read more: We won’t be ‘part of the China-controlled technosphere’ – Lithuanian committee chair

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