ECONOMY

Process for 5G licenses gets under way

process-for-5g-licenses-gets-under-way

The first step in Greece’s transition to fifth generation cellular networks (5G) – delivering speeds 100 times faster than 4G – has been taken by the Hellenic Telecommunications & Post Commission (HTPC).

HTPC on Wednesday published the proclamation for the public tender for the 5G spectrum, which has been broken up into four ranges (700Mhz, 2GHz, 3.4-3.8 MHz and 26GHz). According to the document – which describes the process of the auction through which the right of use of the frequencies will be acquired – interested parties are expected to submit their remarks so that that the final version of the document can be published on September 22.

In total, more than 60 frequency ranges will be auctioned off, with each having a different starting price. For each of the six sections of the 700Mhz band, which is the most substantial for 5G development, the starting price is set at 25.03 million euros. The starting price for the entirety of the frequency band is approximately €367.3 million, amounting to the estimated state revenues from the concession of the entire band.

According to the indicative timetable for the tender, submissions for participation must be delivered on October 1 and those who submitted a bid will receive the description of the participant groups on the same day. The final participation list will be announced by HTPC on October 13, while the winners will be declared on December 20.

If there are no delays, by 2021 the government will begin receiving the funds, with the bidders having two options: paying within 10 days either 100% or 30% of the cost. The remaining 70% can be paid in nine annual installments.

A key role in the deployment of 5G within Greece belongs to the Mutual Fund of Business Stocks called Faistos Fund, whose foundation is backed by the Ministry of Digital Governance. The fund will be infused with 25% of the funds received through the tender, as well as private investors. It aims to invest in companies working in the technology sector with a focus on research and development of systems working on the 5G infrastructure thus creating the necessary ecosystem within Greece to tap the full potential of the new generation technology.