Greece launches 5G auction, extends Vodafone, Wind network sharing

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Spectrum applications opened last week and the process should be concluded by 21 December.

Vodafone Greece has already said it intends to launch commercial 5G services in the first quarter of next year.

The operator’s CEO, Haris Broumidis, told Capital.gr that services will initially be introduced in the main cities of Athens and Thessaloniki before expansion to other areas.

Rivals Cosmote and Wind are also expected to launch 5G in Q1 2021.

Greece began accepting applications last week for its auction of spectrum in the 700MHz, 2GHz, 3.4GHz-3.8GHz and 26GHz bands, with the frequencies have a combined total starting price of €367.3 million.

Network sharing

Separately, the Plenary Session of the Hellenic Telecommunications and Post Commission (referred to in Greece as EETT) completed its investigation of the agreement between the companies Vodafone and Wind to extend their 4G network sharing. 

EETT took into account the agreement between the two companies does not contain "objectively" restrictive terms of competition nor involve the sharing of spectrum or the companies’ backbone networks. In addition, there are safeguards against the sharing of sensitive data, and also it is mainly confined to rural and semi-urban areas of the country. 

It assessed the impact of the agreement on the mobile telephony market, and the benefits arising from the agreement especially the population gaining upgraded 4G services faster than they would without the network sharing in the areas of the country that are the least commercially viable for operators.