3.6 GHz Band Spectrum Award

Latest Developments

Transition is progressing at a steady pace. Recent developments are in summary:

  • Vodafone has announced plans to commence rural home broadband trials in the 3.6 GHz Band at four locations around the country in December 2018: https://www.siliconrepublic.com/comms/vodafone-ireland-rural-broadband
  • Meteor’s and Three’s 3.6 GHz Band Liberalised Use Licences commenced on 1 October 2018 in each Region for certain spectrum blocks.
  • Vodafone’s 3.6 GHz Band Liberalised Use Licence commenced in Dublin in all spectrum blocks.
  • Vodafone and Imagine worked together to implement a transition plan developed by ComReg for Imagine to vacate spectrum at a number of rural locations so Vodafone could commence pilot sites.
  • Vodafone has deployed a new site in Dublin’s Docklands to test 5G hardware, software and services ahead of a wider roll-out of 5G mobile technology https://www.irishtimes.com/business/technology/5g-arrives-in-ireland-as-vodafone-launches-test-site-in-dublin-1.3704608
  • 3.6 GHz band spectrum has been freed up in several areas around the country due to cancellation of transition service areas by transition licensees as follows:

Imagine:       46 of its 241 transition service areas

Lightnet:        2 of its 3 transition service areas

Ripplecom:    3 of its 4 transition service areas

(transition service area = 20 km radius)

  • Imagine has confirmed that it is no longer using spectrum in the range 3680 MHz – 3800 MHz.
  • ComReg has commenced Imagine’s 3.6 GHz Band Liberalised Use Licence as of 1 August 2018 in all four of its Regions, as Imagine’s 3.6 GHz Band Liberalised Use spectrum is no longer significantly affected by the transition activities of other transition licensees.
  • In December 2018, Airspeed  completed works to free up a number of blocks of spectrum in its Transition Service Areas. This has freed up 25 MHz of 3.6 GHz Band spectrum for Three in Cork, Limerick and Galway and has also has freed up a number of spectrum blocks for Meteor in six of the nine Regions under its 3.6 GHz Band Liberalised Use Licence.

Commencement of Lots under 3.6 GHz Band Liberalised Use Licences

Following completion of transition activities by Transition Licensees in the areas and frequency ranges affected, ComReg has commenced Lots in Regions under 3.6 GHz Band Liberalised Use Licences on the following dates:

Imagine              

  • 1 September 2018:
    • All Lots in all regions

Three

  • 1 October 2018:
    • All Lots in the South West, East Regions
    • Most Lots in the Borders, Midlands and West, Dublin City, Cork City and Galway City Regions
    • 50% of Lots in the South East, Limerick City and Waterford City Regions
  • 7 January 2019:
    • Five Lots in each of the Cork, Limerick and Galway City Regions
  • 16 April 2019:
    • Five Lots in the Dublin City Region

Meteor

  • 1 October 2018:
    • All Lots in the East Region
    • Most Lots in the Borders, Midlands and West and South West Regions
    • Several Lots in all of the other Regions
  • 7 January 2019:
    • Three Lots in the Borders, Midlands and West and South East Regions
    • Two Lots in each of the Limerick and Galway City Regions
    • One Lot in each of the Dublin and Cork City Regions

Vodafone

  • 1 July 2018:
    • All Lots in the Dublin Region
  • 21 November 2018:
    • All Lots the South East Region

 Dense Air

  • 1 January 2019:
    • All B Lots in the Dublin City Region
    • Three B Lots in all of the other City Regions
  • 25 March 2019:
    • Lot A1 commenced in all of the Regions except for Cork City

Transition Service Areas

A copy of the current list of Transition Service Areas based on the information above is available on request from licensing@comreg.ie

Licence Details

The following tables show the frequency assignments and associated regions for each licence granted to date.

Green indicates Lots that have commenced, Pink indicates Lots that have not yet commenced and Black indicates Lots that are not applicable.

DenseAir

Imagine

Meteor

Three

Vodafone

 

Document 17/46 – Results of ComReg’s 3.6 GHz Band Spectrum Award

On 1 June 2017, ComReg published an Information Notice setting out the Final Frequency Plan and results of the 3.6 GHz Band Spectrum Award Process

Document 17/38 – Results of ComReg’s 3.6 GHz Band Spectrum Award – including the Provisional Frequency Plan

On 22 May 2017, ComReg announced the results of the 3.6 GHz Band Spectrum Award. The Award, which was conducted by auction, resulted in the successful assignment of all 350 MHz of spectrum. The spectrum was offered in 594 lots spread over nine regions (four rural and five urban) and assigned on a contiguous basis. The Auction resulted in five Winning Bidders. Full details of the results are set out in the Information Notice (Document 17/38) and corresponding Media Release

Please note that the results presented here are preliminary, in that the frequency plan as presented in Annex 7 of Document 17/38  is subject to any changes arising from the Negotiation Phase. ComReg will later publish the final results.

Correspondence received from an interested party regarding transition arrangements

ComReg received correspondence from an interested party which relates to 3.6 GHz Band transition matters. ComReg sets out an anonymised non confidential version of this correspondence and ComReg’s Response to same in the Document below CBSA(16)053.

CBSA(16)053_Correspondence from an interested party of 14 October 2016 and ComReg response

3.6 GHz Band Licences Regulations 2016

The Wireless Telegraphy (3.6 GHz Band Licences) Regulations 2016 (S.I. No. 532 of 2016) were made on 18 October 2016 by the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) with the consent of the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten.

 Document 16/87 – Questions & answers and related matters

On 12 October 2016 ComReg published an Information Notice, Document 16/87, which related to

  • the publication of questions properly submitted to the 3.6 GHz Band Spectrum Award and ComReg’s final responses to same
  • ComReg’s consideration of correspondence received from an interested party relating to the reserve price benchmarking report (Document 16/70b) from ComReg’s independent award design consultants, DotEcon.

Alongside this Information Notice, ComReg published a Benchmarking Update from DotEcon as Document 16/88.

Workshop on 3.6 GHz Band Spectrum Award – 14 September 2016

On the 14 September 2016, ComReg held a Workshop for all interested parties on the 3.6 GHz Band Spectrum Award.

The Workshop slides presented on the day are below

3.6 GHz Band Spectrum Award Workshop Slides

To extend the reach of the workshop ComReg also hosted the Workshop as a webinar. The webinar recording can be viewed at the link below.

Webinar recording of the 3.6 GHz Band Spectrum Award Workshop

Document 16/75 – Information Notice – Workshop on 3.6 GHz Band Spectrum Award and submission of questions on Award Process

On 9 September 2016, ComReg published an information notice providing further information on the 3.6 GHz Band Spectrum Award Workshop to be held on the 14 September 2016.

Document 16/71 – 3.6 GHz Band Spectrum Award – Information Memorandum

On 24 August 2016, ComReg published its Information Memorandum (Document 16/71) on the 3.6 GHz Band Spectrum Award. ComReg published Annex 3 (Application Form) and Annex 4 (Alliance notification Form) from Document 16/71 separately in a writable pdf format as Documents 16/71a and Document 16/71b respectively.

ComReg also published three other documents;

  • Response to Consultation on the draft Information Memorandum (Document 16/70)
  • DotEcon’s assessment of comments on ComReg Document 16/22 (Document 16/70a)
  • An update from DotEcon’s on the reserve price benchmarking report (Document 16/70b)

Paragraphs 2.10 and 2.11 of the Information Memorandum refers to ten ESRI shape files that set out the boundaries of the Regions. There has been no change to the files from the publication of the Draft Information Memorandum. These files can be found below  under the publication of Document 16/22.

Document 16/57 – Response to Consultation & Decision on Proposed 3.6 GHz Band Spectrum Award

  • On 11 July 2016, ComReg published its Response to Consultation and Decision on Proposed 3.6 GHz Band Spectrum Award

ComReg also published an independent report from DotEcon

  • Document 16/57a – An analysis prepared by ComReg’s economic and award design expert, DotEcon Limited (“DotEcon”), of the submissions received in response to Document 15/140

Document 16/55 – Further Submission from Imagine to the 3.6 GHz Consultation Process

  • On 29 June 2016, ComReg published a further non-confidential response received from Imagine to the 3.6 GHz Consultation Process

Document 16/35 – Non-confidential responses received to ComReg document 16/22

  • On 11 May 2016, ComReg published the non-confidential submissions received to Document 16/22

Document 16/22 – Draft Information Memorandum – Proposed 3.6 GHz Band Spectrum Award

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Document 16/19 – Submissions to ComReg Document 15/140

  • On 11 March 2016, ComReg published the non-confidential submissions received to Document 15/140.

Document 15/140 – Response to Consultation and draft Decision on Proposed 3.6 GHz band Spectrum Award

  • On 22 December 2015, ComReg published its Response to Consultation and draft Decision – on Proposed 3.6 GHz Band Spectrum Award

ComReg also published 4 independent reports

  • Document 15/140a – An analysis prepared by ComReg’s economic and award design expert, DotEcon Limited (“DotEcon”), of the submissions received in response to Document 15/70 relating to the award design and format
  • Document 15/140b – An updated reserve price benchmarking report prepared by DotEcon
  • Document 15/140c – An analysis prepared by ComReg’s technical expert, Plum Consulting London LLP (“Plum”), of the submissions received in response to Document 15/70 relating to matters of a spectrum engineering nature
  • Document 15/140d – An update of the Document 15/75 prepared by Plum analysing the spectrum potentially required for the provision of an advanced wireless broadband service in the 3.6 GHz band, having taken into consideration submissions received in response to Document 15/70

Document 15/106R – Submissions to Consultation 15/70-revised

  • On 23 October 2015, ComReg published the non-confidential submissions received to Document 14/101. An earlier version of this document was published on 30 September 2015 as Document 15/106.

Document 15/70 Consultation on Proposed 3.6 GHz Band Spectrum Award

  • On 10 July 2015, ComReg issued Document 15/70,  a further consultation on the proposed award of spectrum rights in the 3.6 GHz band.

ComReg also published 5 independent reports

  • Document 15/71 – a report on the design of a spectrum award from its economic and award design consultants, DotEcon
  • Document 15/72 – a reserve price benchmarking report from its economic and award design consultants, DotEcon
  • Document 15/73 – a report analysing the potential co-existence obligations for any sub-national (regional) assignments in the 3.6 GHz band to facilitate co-channel and adjacent channel co-existence from its technical consultants, Plum Consulting London LLP
  • Document 15/74 – a report examining likely rollout considerations and timelines for the deployment of the technologies and potential services likely to be put into use for regional assignments in the 3.6 GHz band including equipment and rollout considerations from its technical consultants, Plum Consulting London LLP
  • Document 15/75 – a report analysing the spectrum potentially required for the provision of an advanced Wireless Broadband (WBB) service in the 3.6 GHz band by a single provider (or consortia) in each region from its technical consultants, Plum Consulting London LLP

Document 15/15 – Publication of non-confidential submissions to ComReg Document 14/101

  • On 16 February 2015, ComReg published the non-confidential submissions received to Document 14/101

Document 15/14 – Information Notice – Update – Spectrum award – 2.6 GHz band with possible inclusion of 700 MHz, 1.4, 2.3 and 3.6 GHz bands

  • In light of the submissions received to Document 14/101 and Document 14/126, ComReg, on 16 February 2015 published an Information Notice indicating that it intended to consider the possible release of rights of use in the 3.6 GHz band in a separate competitive award process.

Document 14/126 – National Broadband Plan: Call for Input on Regulatory Implications – Submissions

  • The EC’s State Aid Guidelines (or “SAG”) notes that national regulatory authorities (“NRAs”), such as ComReg, can have a role in assisting Member States, in particular, in the design of appropriate access obligations relating to State aid broadband projects. In that context, on 4 December 2014, ComReg issued a call for input with regard to the regulatory implications of the National Broadband Plan (“NBP”). In addition to the responses received to Document 14/101, a number of the respondents to the call for input made submissions in relation to radio-spectrum related matters, including in respect of the 3.6 GHz band. ComReg took the latter submissions into account in the preparation of Document 15/70.

Document 14/101 – Spectrum award – 2.6 GHz band with possible inclusion of 700 MHz, 1.4, 2.3 and 3.6 GHz bands 

Document 14/101n – Information Notice: ComReg publishes first consultation on new spectrum award process

  • In preparation for the release of new spectrum rights of use, ComReg, on 30 September 2014, published its consultation and corresponding information notice setting out its preliminary proposals on the details of a competitive award process for spectrum rights of use in the 700 MHz, 1.4 GHz, 2.3 GHz, 2.6 GHz and 3.6 GHz bands. ComReg proposed the release of all of the above bands in the same award process, whilst noting certain peculiarities around the 3.6 GHz and 700 MHz bands which would require further assessment before coming to firm proposals.

ComReg also published an independent report – Document 14/102 – Spectrum Award – 2.6 GHz band with possible inclusion of 700 MHz, 1.4, 2.3 and 3.6 GHz bands