Iran to hold auction for 5G spectrum: Regulator

ran plans to hold a tender for allocating the frequency band needed for providing fifth generation technology (5G) by mobile operators, says the country’s telecoms regulator, despite concerns that the move could lead to a monopoly in the field.

A deputy head of Iran’s Communication Regulatory Authority said on Monday that holding an auction for the allocation of the 3,500 MHz band had been finalized following months of deliberation and studies by the regulator.

Nastaran Mohseni said Iran would have problems developing 5G in 3,300-3,400 MHz because its access to the equipment needed in those spectrums have been hampered by US sanctions.

Mohseni defended the decision and said it would entail more transparency as recommended by the International Telecommunication Union.

However, Iran’s largest mobile operator MCN criticized the planned auction and said operators in the country should be able to share the 5G frequencies.

Morteza Taheribakhsh, who serves as MCI’s head of technical and network development, said on Monday that winning the tender might lead to a monopoly over 5G services in Iran by second operator MTN Irancell.

Taheribakhsh said the move would delay the smooth development of 5G services in the country, adding that the regulatory authority is only caring about maximum income that could be gained from leasing the spectrum.

“I ask officials in the regulatory authority to use the experiences of other countries and expert advisors in this field so that we would not suffer losses in the future,” he said.

Both the MCI and the MTN Irancell have already tested 5G in laboratories and in small locations in the capital Tehran as they plan to offer limited commercial 5G services in the near future.

Taheribakhsh said there would be “some good news” on the launch of MCI’s 5G on a commercial scale within the next few days.