Troubled Czech 5G auction on hold again - Mobile World Live

Troubled Czech 5G auction on hold again

18 DEC 2019

Czech Republic trade minister Karel Havlicek announced an auction of 5G frequencies in the country could face further delay to allow more time to attract a fourth entrant, the Czech News Agency (CTK) reported.

The auction was initially planned for the second half of this year, but was postponed due to an objection by the European Commission (EC) to a network sharing agreement between Telefonica and Deutsche Telekom’s local units.

A probe into the deal between O2 CZ and T-Mobile CZ was opened in 2016, with the EC citing competition concerns. In a preliminary decision issued in August, the EC stated it believed the agreement “restricts competition in breach of European Union antitrust rules”.

As a result, the spectrum sale was pushed back to January 2020, but in in an interview with CTK, Havlicek suggested the timeline could face a further delay until mid-2020.

The minister explained it was more important to set auctions terms which encouraged broad participation by as many players as possible, whether domestic or international.

Havlicek reportedly added any fourth operator should “hack” the competitive environment in the Czech Republic, with aim of challenging data prices politicians regard as being too high.

In February the Czech Telecommunication Office (CTU) announced it planned to auction frequencies in the 700MHz and 3.4GHz to 3.6GHz bands.

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Yanitsa Boyadzhieva

Yanitsa joins Mobile World Live as a Reporter based in London. She has more than 5 years’ experience at various media outlets in her home country Bulgaria. She started her career as a political reporter, followed by taking editor roles...

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