Croatian Regulatory Authority for Network Industries (HAKOM) has officially allocated the radio frequency (RF) spectrum for mobile communications networks in the 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2600 MHz frequency bands at the national level, and 3600 MHz at the regional level.
The bidding process began in mid-January and lasted six weeks, and the decision to select the most favorable bidders was made on March 8, 2023. The public auction procedure included the main bidding phase and the frequency block assignment phase. In the main bidding phase – which took place in three rounds at the regional level and 309 rounds at the national level – bidders simultaneously submitted bids for the right to use one or multiple frequency blocks for all frequency bands. Upon the completion of the main bidding phase, which determined the amount of RF spectrum to be allocated to each bidder, came the assignment phase that determined the final distribution of the RF spectrum among bidders, i.e. the exact position of each bidder’s frequency blocks within an individual frequency band.
The aforementioned bands at the national level have been distributed among the current top three carriers: Hrvatski Telekom, Telemach Hrvatska, and A1 Hrvatska, according to HAKOM’s Wednesday press release.
It is important to point out that the currently granted licences for the 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz and 2600 MHz bands expire in 2024, and this assignment ensures the uninterrupted operation of public mobile communications networks and the provision of services to end-users with regulatory predictability.
The new licenses have been issued for a period of 15 years for all areas of allocation, with an option to be extended by up to five years, as determined by the rules at the EU level.
HAKOM thus announced that the total amount of fees for the use of the RF spectrum achieved at the public tender for frequency bands at national and regional levels comes down to EUR 339,186,745, which is more than double the income from the initial price, which was 154.8 million euros.
At the regional (county) level, HAKOM will award licenses for the use of the 3600 MHz band to two local telecommunications services providers, the companies Digicom and Markoja, for a total fee of EUR 187,150.