In Portugal, the National Communications Authority said that the three operators requested the suspension of the auction of the bands 700 MHz, 900 MHz, 1.8 GHz, 2.1 GHz and 3.6 GHz.
The Covid-19 pandemic has forced the postponement of 5G auctions in four European countries, which were scheduled at the beginning of this year, including Portugal and Spain, the European Observatory for 5G said.
“Four countries, Austria, France, Spain and Portugal have postponed the auctions of spectrum for 5G due to the Covid-19 epidemic so far,” the entity said.
“The Czech Republic postponed its process, but for different reasons,” the Observatory said, adding that in Hungary the auction of spectrum for 5G was maintained and occurred one day before stricter restrictions were applied to the activities and movements of the population.
According to the EU 5G action plan, member states must authorise the 700 Megahertz (MHz) band this year unless there are justified reasons to postpone it until mid-2022 at the latest, the Observatory said.
The 5G auctions have already taken place in three pioneering bands of the new technology: in total 13 countries have allocated licences for 5G spectrum in one or two bands.
The 26 GHz band has been allocated in Italy.
In summary, in Austria, the regulator has decided to postpone the auction for the frequencies 700 MHz, 2 100 MHz and 1 500 MHz to a later date, still in 2020.
In France, the sector regulator Arcep revealed that the current operators – Bouygues Telecom, Free Mobile, Orange and SFR – qualified to participate in the auction of the 3.5 GHz spectrum. The process, which was initially scheduled for April this year, was postponed due to the pandemic.
In Portugal, said the Observatory, the National Communications Authority (Anacom) said that the three operators requested the suspension of the auction of the bands 700 MHz, 900 MHz, 1.8 GHz, 2.1 GHz, 2.6 GHz and 3.6 GHz.
The Spanish government postponed the auction for the 700 MHz spectrum to an unspecified date following the pandemic.
Hungary was the last country to allocate spectrum for 5G in a multi-frequency auction on 26 March.
Magyar Telecom, Vodafone Hungary and Telenor Hungary obtained 15-year licences for 700 MHz, 2,100 MHz and 3,600 MHz. The acquired MHz bands and rights of use represented about 368 million euros, the Observatory said.