Israel’s Ministry of Communications (MoC) has announced the start of an auction process for 5G-suitable frequencies in the 26GHz band. A total of 2,500MHz (offered as 25 × 100MHz blocks) is to be made available and it has been confirmed that the sale is to be restricted to the nation’s existing mobile network operators (MNOs). Cellcos will, however, be permitted to bid for spectrum either on their own or as part of a joint bid, while the MoC has set a cap of 1,200MHz per winning bidder; the cap applies to both solo and joint bids. New spectrum allocations will be valid for a ten year period, according to the MoC, renewable for a further ten years at the end of the initial term.

In terms of a timetable for the auction process, the MoC has set a deadline of 28 December 2022 for interested parties to comment on the plans, while it intends to then publish a response to any submissions by 18 January 2023. A deadline for the submission of a joint offer for new spectrum has been set as 1 February 2023, while those MNOs which opt to bid on their own will have until 15 February 2023 to do so. Finally, the MoC’s tender committee is then expected to announce qualified bidders on 1 March 2023.

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