The most valuable 3.5 GHz frequency band won in the auction is the cleanest and most constrained 5 G band that Lithuania has offered to the market. We acquired it because it is a part of our business strategy to provide the highest quality and fastest Internet in the country. We are familiar with 5 G technology, which we have been testing with our customers in Lithuania since 2018. Today we have already installed around 1,000 base stations ready for 5 G 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 5 G, said Andrius eme kevi ius, head of technology at Telia Lietuva.
The Communications Regulation Authority of the Republic of Lithuania RRT in the 3.5 GHz or 3,400 --700 MHz radio frequency band offered three 100 MHz radio frequency blocks with a starting price of EUR 3 million each. Three largest Lithuanian mobile operators participating in the auction could only bid for one block of radio frequencies.
It is the 3.5 GHz frequency, with 100 MHz bandwidths, that will enable the huge speeds of the mobile Internet. This frequency has been used by Telia Lietuva for non-commercial testing of 5 G communications, with the permission of the RRT.
The results of the bidding for the three 700 MHz blocks started at the end of May are eagerly awaited, although the 3.5 GHz auction is now closed.
Mobile operators have to take active steps to ensure the development of 5G connectivity after winning these auctions. 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 5 G 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 5 G services in all of the country's top five cities from 31 December 2023.
Since January of this year, 5 G services have been offered in the existing 2100 MHz band of Lithuania, the first company in Lithuania to test 5 G technology since 2018, according to Telia Lietuva. In Vilnius, 20 base stations are operating on commercial frequencies.