CITC sets August date for spectrum auction
Saudi Arabian regulator CITC will auction 5G spectrum for Non-Terrestrial Networks (NTN) on 23 August.
The auction of the 2100MHz band is described by the regulator as a first of its kind for 5G NTN connectivity. It enables 5G satellite mobile communications and hybrid 5G connectivity (MSS/CGC), wireless connectivity on aircrafts, IoT through satellites, high altitude platform stations (HAPS), and low altitude platforms stations (LAPS).
The auction is scheduled to take place on 23 August, with the Information Memorandum and the Auction Rules scheduled to be released on June 26, 2022.
The regulator's statement read: "This auction is an integral element of the CITC’s NTN program to facilitate and enable deployment of arrays of non-terrestrial technologies in the Kingdom in accordance with the CITC Outlook for Commercial and Innovative Use of Spectrum 2021-2023.
Elsewhere, it added: "CITC envisions these networks to represent an evolution of wireless connectivity as wireless infrastructure are being deployed beyond the Earth surface and play a role in enhancing broadband connectivity across the kingdom."
CITC initially opened a public consultation in October and, at the time, stated the auction would take place before the end of 2021. In October, CITC also shared the following auction schedules: Q1 2022 for 600MHz, 700MHz and 3.8GHz-4.0GHz, and H2, 2022 for 1500MHz and 26GHz.
This most recent announcement does not elaborate on the other scheduled auctions, however, it did state that it set the 2100MHz date "based on the feedback it received during the consultation period from national and international stakeholders who have interests in these technologies".
Last year Saudi Arabia become the first country in the MEA to pave the way for Wi-Fi 6E by designating all 1200 MHz of the 6 GHz band for unlicensed use.