The tender for the auction of the fifth-generation wireless telecommunication network (5G) frequencies may be scheduled for this Wednesday, but the question is how fast this fast technology can roll out across Greece.
Telecommunications company officials explain that the development of the 5G network in Greece may start in 2021 but will require several years before it has expanded to satisfactory levels.
Digital Governance Minister Kyriakos Pierrakakis estimates that the population coverage from the 5G networks will reach 60% in three years and 94% in six years, while there will already be considerable population coverage from mid-2021.
The country is officially entering the 5G era with the start of the tender by the National Commission for Telecommunications and Post (EETT) for bandwidth use of the frequencies 700 megahertz, 2 gigahertz, 3.4-3.8 GHz and 26 GHz.
A similar auction for the 3.7-3.98 Ghz in multiple rounds began in the United States a couple of weeks ago, making this one of the very few instances where Greece is aligned with international developments in the technology field.
Entering the tender, which is expected to be completed on the same day, will be all three local cellphone networks – Cosmote, Vodafone and Wind – with the state expected to collect the amount of 367.3 million euros from this process.
In Greece the number of 5G connections is expected to reach up to 3 million in 2025, which will amount to a share of 18% of all cellphone connections, according to a recent report by the European think tank IDATE DigiWorld.
The revenues from 5G service in Greece in 2025 are estimated at €260 million, corresponding to some 15% of overall revenues from mobile telecommunication services.
About 97% of those takings are projected to originate from services of enhanced mobile broadband internet, with the sectors of entertainment, utility services, agriculture and smart cities being among those that are expected to record the greatest utilization of the 5G technology in Greece in the first years of its rollout.