In a meeting held on 30 March 2020, the Telekom-Control-Kommission (TKK) decided to indefinitely postpone the second 5G auction, originally scheduled for April 2020. The decision comes in response to the federal government’s measures to contain the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
No reliable estimates are possible at present as to how long the emergency situation will last or what actual impact it will have, so it is still too early to specifically name a new date for the auction.
The TKK plans to set a new date once it becomes clear that the auction can be held in accordance with requirements. Eligible bidders will be informed of the new date well enough in advance. Whatever the case, it is planned to hold the second 5G auction before the end of the year.
Postponement of the second 5G auction does not in any way jeopardise the rollout of 5G. Since spectrum was awarded last year in the first 5G auction, there are now sufficient frequency resources already available on the market to allow mobile operators to service urban areas, where data traffic flows are heavy. To avoid shortages of financial or organisational resources, the TKK has staggered the deadlines for operators to meet the rollout obligations tied to each of the 5G awards. The coverage obligations attached to spectrum in the 3410–3800 MHz range, awarded in last year’s 5G auction, are currently pending and must be met by the end of this year. The TKK is aware of the potential impact that current measures to contain the pandemic might have on meeting the rollout deadlines set last year. The regulator will accordingly evaluate the situation on an ongoing basis and, within the framework of legal options, take any decision that may be required.