TECHNOLOGY

Ranking high in 5G concession progress

ranking-high-in-5g-concession-progress

Greece ranks second among European Union member-states in bandwidth concession for fifth-generation (5G) telecommunication network licenses.

This country is second only to Finland in granting companies the frequencies they require to deploy their state-of-the-art technology for cellphones.

According to December data by IDATE, Greece has already conceded 83% of the bandwidth available for 5G networks, against an EU average of 35.7%. Finland has conceded 100%, while Cyprus ranks joint third along with Germany, the Czech Republic and Slovakia with 67%. Other countries above the EU average rate are Luxembourg and Austria (66%), Hungary (61%), Italy (60%) and France (59%).

Greece’s climbing to second place in the European rankings is particularly significant if one takes into account that just a year ago the country was among the bloc’s laggards which had not yet launched the concession process.

In contrast to fellow European countries that have advanced with their procedures for the concession of bandwidth for 5G services, others have shown zero progress in this respect. They are Estonia, Lithuania, Malta, Latvia, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Croatia and Poland, where no licenses for the deployment of 5G networks have been issued to date.

The IDATE survey ranks the EU member-states not only according to their overall performance in the concession of all bandwidth categories, but also based on each zone in particular: In the 700-megahertz bandwidth Greece along with 10 other countries scored 100%, while in the 3.6 gigahertz bandwidth Greece scored just 49%.

As Digital Governance Minister Kyriakos Pierrakakis has stated, Greece is among the pioneers in the auctioning of 5G bandwidths, having overtaken countries that got started from 2018. Notably, Greece decided to launch an auction for all four bandwidths at the same time (700 MHz, 2GHz, 3,5 GHz and 26 GHz).

“Greece has covered the ground lost in a way that also secured other elements besides the price, such as the rapid coverage of the population, which according the auction’s rules has to reach 60% within three years and 94% after six years,” Pierrakakis recently stated.