5G status in Europe
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, 5G is still on. The number of European 5G alive networks is still growing. 5G is now available in 17 Member States (in EU27) and in 20 EU countries (including Norway, Switzerland and the UK). Seven countries (Austria, Finland, Germany, Ireland, The Netherlands, Spain, and the UK) are now full5G countries with all players providing 5G commercial services.
In the last weeks, 5G has been lighted up in Bulgaria (Vivacom), Czech Republic (O2, Vodafone), Denmark (TDC), Germany (Telefonica), Ireland (Three), the Netherlands (KPN, T-Mobile), Poland (Orange), Slovenia (Telekom Slovenije), Spain (Telefonica, Orange, Masmovil).
When it comes to spectrum, Member States adopted a roadmap for spectrum assignment with a deadline of December 2020 for the three pioneer bands (700 MHz, 3500 MHz, 26 GHz).
The 700 MHz band has been assigned in ten Member States: Austria (September 2020), Germany (June 2015), France (November 2015), Finland (November 2016), Hungary (March 2020), Italy (October 2018), Luxembourg (2020), Netherlands (July 2020), Sweden (December 2018) and Denmark (March 2019).
Spectrum within 3.4-3.8 GHz frequency band has already been assigned in accordance with 5G technical conditions in 16 countries (EU-27 countries and the UK): Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain and the United Kingdom. France awarded 3.5 GHz spectrum on 1 October 2020. It raised 2,786 million EUR significantly above the minimum of 2,170 million EUR.
Spectrum within 26 GHz frequencies has already been assigned in Italy (October 2018) and Finland (June 2020). In the UK, local licences are available on demand subject to coordination.