The Dutch 5G spectrum auction started today at 10am. The auction includes frequencies in the 700 MHz, 1400 MHz and 2100 MHz bands. The three MNO’s (KPN, T-Mobile Netherlands and VodafoneZiggo) will take part in the auction. It is not known whether other firms will compete. The participating market parties are allowed to win at most 40% of the total available frequencies. As a result, the Netherlands will also have at least three providers of fast mobile communication in the future. The auction consists of two stages: the principal stage and the assignment stage. The principal stage determines the total bandwidth each bidder wins in each band; the assignment stage assigns specific frequencies to each winner of generic spectrum. The auction format that will be used in the principal stage is the SMRA-Clock Hybrid, a hybrid version of the Simultaneous Multi Round Auction (SMRA) and the Combinatorial Clock Auction (CCA). The SMRA-Clock Hybrid determines provisional winning bidders per round (like in the SMRA) and in each round bidders can choose the number of lots in each lot category (as in the clock stage of the CCA). The auction format that will be used in the assignment stage is a sealed-bid combinatorial auction with an opportunity-cost based pricing rule. The auction is expected to raise at least 900 million euros. The two other 5G spectrum bands, the 3.5 GHz and the 26 GHz bands, will most likely be auctioned in 2022 and 2026 respectively. These spectrum bands are needed for very fast download speeds. More information on the auction can be found here.