A lengthening list of countries putting off the auction of 5G spectrum just got longer as Poland announced plans to delay the process.
Polish telecommunications regulator the Office of Electronic Communications (Urzad Komunikacji Elektronicznej or UKE) has postponed Poland’s auction of 5G-capable 3.6GHz spectrum. As in many cases to date, this delay is being blamed on the COVID-19 health crisis.
On 6 March applications were invited for the auction of four 15-year nationwide licences, with each concession offering 80MHz of spectrum in the 3.4GHz-3.8GHz band. That process will now not take place until a later, unspecified, date.
The list of auction delays is certainly getting longer. Regulators across Europe are postponing, or being asked by operators to postpone, planned 5G auctions in countries as diverse as Portugal, Austria, Spain, France and the Czech Republic. Also, as we recently reported, Mexican regulator IFT has indicated that it may postpone the country’s upcoming auction of 5G-ready 600MHz spectrum because of the pandemic.
It’s not just governments and operators that have been affected. It was also reported in late March that the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) — the global organization that develops telecommunication standards — had decided to delay the upcoming release of new 5G standards by three months due to the coronavirus.
Bucking the trend somewhat, as we noted yesterday, has been the Slovakian regulator, which has announced that it will be going ahead with an auction of 5G-capable spectrum.