The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation has informed the European Commission that it has decided to postpone the date for the release of the 700 MHz band, a process known as the Second Digital Dividend. This was scheduled to be completed by end-June, along with the auction of that spectrum amongst operators for the deployment of 5G. The postponement is due to the exceptional situation resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Second Digital Dividend is mandated by the European Union and its deadline was 30 June 2020. It consists of changing the frequencies assigned to television channels in the 700MHz band in order to use them to deploy future 5G networks.
In a press release, however, the Ministry recalled that the European authorities already foresaw this process could be postponed due to force majeure, as is currently the case.
The new date will be determined according to when the containment measures to deal with Covid-19 are completed.
As a result of this postponement, the Ministry also noted that telecommunications operators will not be able to have the 700 MHz frequency band at their disposal on the planned date for the deployment of 5G services.
In this context, it highlighted that operators are making an extra effort to face the crisis caused by Covid-19, keeping people and companies connected. So it has also been decided to postpone the tender for the 700 MHz band.
The Department headed by Nadia Calviño flagged that the auction for the frequency bands for 5G services has also recently been postponed in other European Union countries, such as France, Austria and Portugal.