“The most valuable 3.5 GHz frequency band won in the auction is the cleanest and least constrained 5G band that Lithuania has offered to the market. We acquired it because it is a consistent part of our business strategy to provide only the highest quality and fastest Internet in the country. We are very well familiar with this 5G technology, which we have been testing in Lithuania with our customers since 2018. Today we have already installed around 1,000 base stations ready for 5G across the country, and we expect the frequency transmission to take place as soon as possible so that Lithuania can catch up with other European countries with the development of 5G,” Andrius Šemeškevičius, Head of Technology at Telia Lietuva, said.
The auction conducted by the Communications Regulation Authority of the Republic of Lithuania (RRT) in the 3.5 GHz or 3,400-3,700 MHz radio frequency band offered three 100 MHz radio frequency blocks with a starting price of EUR 3 million each. The three largest Lithuanian mobile operators participating in the auction could only bid for one block of radio frequencies.
It is specifically the 3.5 GHz frequency, with 100 MHz bandwidths, that will enable the huge speeds of mobile Internet. This frequency has so far been used by Telia Lietuva for non-commercial testing of 5G communications, with the permission of the RRT.
Although the 3.5 GHz auction is now closed, the results of the bidding for the three 700 MHz blocks, which started at the end of May, are eagerly awaited.
Winning these auctions obliges mobile operators to take active steps to ensure the development and availability of 5G connectivity. These include the provision of electronic communications services covering at least 98 per cent of the territory of the Republic of Lithuania and the launch of commercial 5G services in at least one of the country’s major cities no later than six months from the date of authorisation, and the launch of 5G services in all of the country’s top five cities from 31 December 2023.
Telia Lietuva, the first company in Lithuania to test 5G technology since 2018, has been offering 5G services in its existing 2100 MHz band since January this year. In Vilnius, 20 base stations are operating on commercial frequencies.