Preparation for the next award of mobile telephony licences

Bern, 09.07.2024 - The Federal Communications Commission (ComCom) has instructed the Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) to prepare for awarding the mobile radio frequencies that will become available in 2029. In the interests of competition and transparency, ComCom is planning a public tender for these frequencies, probably in 2026. Frequency bands will be allocated by means of an auction if there is a shortage of frequencies.

The mobile radio licences that were awarded to Swiss mobile network operators in 2012 expire at the end of 2028. These frequencies from the 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz and 2600 MHz bands comprise around half of the mobile radio communications frequencies currently allocated. After evaluating the public consultation conducted at the end of 2023, ComCom has decided to reallocate these frequencies attributed in 2012 by issuing an invitation to tender – but without including new frequencies from the 6 GHz, 26 GHz and 40 GHz bands (see below).

An invitation to tender ensures a transparent procedure that is open to all those who wish to offer mobile communications services on the Swiss market. Once the bidders are admitted to the procedure, if the demand for frequencies is greater than the supply, the frequencies will be awarded by auction. This invitation to tender will ensure the efficient and pro-competitive allocation of the frequencies.

ComCom plans to issue a public invitation for bids for the rights to use these bands in 2026. OFCOM will prepare the invitation to tender on behalf of ComCom. Interested parties will be given the opportunity to comment on the draft tender documents. The auction is scheduled to take place in 2027.

Public consultation

In December 2023, the Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) conducted a public consultation on behalf of ComCom on the allocation of the mobile radio frequencies available from 2029 and on the interest in new spectrum in the 6 GHz, 26 GHz and 40 GHz bands. OFCOM will publish the report on the results of this consultation online today (see link below).

The current licence holders Salt, Sunrise and Swisscom had called for the expiring licences for frequencies to be extended in their responses to the consultation documents.

The public consultation also shows that the mobile communications industry has a keen interest in additional frequencies, particularly in the 6 GHz band. However, enquiries made by OFCOM have shown that no new frequencies can be made available for mobile communications until at least 2026. The consultation responses have also shown that interest in the frequencies in the 26 GHz and 40 GHz bands is only limited and not consistent.


Address for enquiries

ComCom Secretariat, tel. +41 58 463 52 90



Publisher

Federal Communications Commission ComCom
http://www.comcom.admin.ch/

Federal Office of Communications
http://www.ofcom.admin.ch

https://www.admin.ch/content/gov/en/start/documentation/media-releases.msg-id-101776.html