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COVID-19 causes another "low": 5G auction postponed in France

The new Coronavirus is not only "infecting" people, but also sectors in all areas. In a week when the consultation of the 5G auction was suspended indefinitely in Portugal, COVID-19 also had a negative impact in France. In this case it dictated the postponement for an indefinite period of the 5G auction.

The French sector regulator, Arcep, explained to the French newspaper Les Echos that "it failed to maintain the auction". Prior to that, the CEO of France's Iliad telecommunications group, Thomas Reynaud, had already assured Reuters that this was very likely to happen.

In this way, the auctions that should start on April 21 to allocate the radio spectrum 310 MHz, will not be able to be held in the estimated time. A new date has not yet been released.

COVID-19 also wreaks havoc on 5G in Portugal

In Portugal, and at the request of the operators, COVID-19 led to the further consultation of the 5G auction, a decision that definitively compromises the 5G calendar in Portugal. News of the postponement request was followed over the past week, with operators asking for the extension of the public consultation on the 5G auction, which was due to end on March 25. On Thursday, Anacom ended up confirming the postponement of the consultation, indefinitely, after initially having set the new date on 1 April.

All requests from operators invoked the situation related to COVID-19 to request the postponement, as did Dense Air. Therefore, the regulator recognized the exceptional situation that the country is experiencing, which sustained its decision. According to the statement, the decision to suspend has taken effect since March 19, and "remains in force until it is lifted, to be decided taking into account the exceptional and temporary measures taken to respond to the epidemiological situation caused by COVID-19".

The decision calls into question the 5G timetable that was defined, and which provided for the auction to start in April, after analyzing the results of the public consultation. The delay in the migration of DTT, for which Altice had already warned, already compromised the goals of having services starting this year and which was expected to yield 237.9 million euros.