Bid strategy support in the 2020 5G spectrum auction, Austrian MNO

In 2020, the Austrian spectrum regulator ran an auction to allocate frequencies for 700, 1400 and 2100 MHz spectrum. These bands are potential “5G” bands and essential to roll out the next generation of mobile networks. The auction employed a clock-SMRA hybrid format with a generic lot structure and standing high bid mechanism. The auction also contained a novel reverse auction phase in which bidders competed to accept coverage obligations in return for discounts on their total price.

We combined our expertise in auction theory and our experience from previous spectrum auctions to analyse the auction rules in detail and map out potential bid patterns. We probed the auction rules for potential loopholes which could enable our client to win more spectrum at favourable prices.

In particular, we helped the client to understand potential bid strategies in the reverse auction for discount.

Date of execution: 2019-2020