German telecoms watchdog the Federal Network Agency (FNA, known locally as the Bundesnetzagentur or BNetzA) is likely to delay its 5G spectrum auction until early 2019, rather than this year as originally planned. Reuters cites a spokesperson for the authority as saying that the FNA wants to auction the frequencies as quickly as possible, but that the sale is likely to take place in early 2019. The development follows rumours that the process had been delayed by a row between the FNA and the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (Bundesministerium fur Verkehr und Digitale Infrastruktur, BMVI). According to reports from local daily Handelsblatt, the two bodies had clashed over bidding conditions for the auction, with the BMVI stating that participants guarantee seamless 5G coverage, whilst also targeting substantial returns from the auction process. For its part, FNA reportedly argued that the economic conditions should be ‘realistic’ and is looking to assert its decision-making independence from the ministry.
As noted by TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the FNA is planning to auction off 2×60MHz in the 1920MHz-1980MHz/2110MHz-2170MHz range alongside 300MHz of unpaired spectrum in the 3400MHz-3700MHz range.