Jaromir Novak, head of the Czech Republic’s telecoms watchdog, announced his resignation, as a dispute over government changes to the country’s planned 5G auction intensified.

Novak published his resignation letter on Twitter, stating last-minute government changes to the Czech Telecommunication Office’s sale of 5G suitable frequencies risked slowing the rollout of the technology and could lead to court disputes.

The regulator was due to commence sales of frequencies in the 700MHz and 3.5GHz bands via auction this month, but the process has now been delayed to later this year as conditions are finalised.

Novak took issue with the government’s heavy emphasis on national roaming, which would allow consumers to switch between providers in the 3.5GHz band, arguing the frequency cannot be used across the whole country.

“I cannot sign under auction conditions that in my deep conviction will not improve the competitive environment in the Czech market,” Novak wrote.

In response, Reuters reported the country’s industry minister Karel Havlicek said in a televised address the government had made the changes to boost the attractiveness of the auction, as it had zero interest from overseas companies and minimal attention from domestic operators.

He also claimed Novak had in fact been fired, with Hana Tovarkova, a member of the regulator’s board, replacing him.