Poland postpones 5G spectrum auction due to coronavirus

Poland has dropped a deadline for its first 5G spectrum auction in the wake of the spread of the coronavirus, Reuters reported.
Huawei 5G base station in ChinaPoland had initially sought preliminary offers from telecom companies interested in acquiring 5G spectrum in the auction by April 23, but the deadline will be missed due to the pandemic, the regulator said its public information bulletin on Friday.

It gave no other details and no indication of a new timetable.

“We are surprised, because all previous signs from the regulator’s side were such that the auction will go on schedule,” said Wojciech Jabczynski, spokesman for Orange Polska, a unit of France’s Orange.

Polkomtel started commercial 5G technology aimed to start serving seven cities in the first quarter of 2020.

“We have finished preparations and we are beginning the construction of the first 5G network in Poland,” Cyfrowy Polsat CEO Miroslaw Blaszczyk said in a statement. “These will no longer be tests or trials – they will be commercial services available.”

The 5G network, on the 2600 MHz TDD frequency, will be rolled out using technology from Nokia and Ericsson, Cyfrowy Polsat said.

Polkomtel had selected China’s Huawei to create Polkomtel’s billing system, but the contract was cancelled last year after delays to the system’s roll-out.

Polkomtel (Plus), Orange Polska, Play Communications and T-Mobile are the leading mobile operators in Poland.