Delayed Saudi NTN spectrum auction now planned for November

Delayed Saudi NTN spectrum auction now planned for November

Saudi Arabian regulator the Communication and Information Technology Commission (CITC) has given more details on its planned non-terrestrial networks (NTN) 5G spectrum auction in the 2100MHz band.

The spectrum auction will commence on 30 November. This follows a number of delays.

CITC initially opened a public consultation in October accompanied by a detailed information memorandum. At the time it was stated that a total of 2 x 30 MHz of paired spectrum was to be assigned in this award in the frequencies 1980-2010 MHz (uplink) and 2170-2200 MHz (downlink). CITC planned to package spectrum in the award into two 2x15 MHz blocks. It’s not clear if this is still what will be on offer.

CITC also stated that the auction would take place before the end of 2021. However, in February the Capacity Media website reported that CITC planned to auction 5G spectrum for NTN on 23 August.

CITC describes the auction as an integral part of the spectrum release programme developed in the March 2021 report Spectrum Outlook for Commercial and Innovative Use of Spectrum 2021-2023.

It says it will release key spectrum to enable the deployment of a new generation of NTN technologies, including mobile satellite services (MSS), wireless connectivity on aircraft (A2G), Internet of Things through satellites (Sat-IoT) and hybrid 5G connectivity (5G CGC).

The auction of the 2100MHz band is described by the regulator as a first of its kind for 5G NTN connectivity.

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