Ofcom has initiated a consultation on a future licensing process in Switzerland for the 700 MHz, 1400 MHz and 3.6 GHz ranges. It is planning to hold an auction in late 2018 and is seeking input now on whether the bands should be considered together or auctioned separately, what the appropriate format should be for the auction, whether there should be a spectrum cap, and other matters relating to the frequencies and the impact of new applications on the need for spectrum capacity.

These bands – particularly 700 MHz and 3.6 GHz – are sure to play a key role in 5G. The auction(s) will represent an important strategic opportunity to acquire new 5G spectrum, a key enabler for new services, applications and markets such as IoT.

Of note, LYA recently supported a bidder in the Irish 3.6 GHz auction, the first with these frequencies seen as a 5G band. The process was done using a Combinatorial Clock Auction format, similar to Swiss multiband auction held in 2012.

Opportunities to acquire significant new spectrum assets do not come along every day. Comments in the consultation process are due by July 31, 2017.