Cyta, MTN and PrimeTel have been awarded temporary concessions to trial 5G technology. Minister of Transport, Communications and Works Vassiliki Anastasiadou said: ‘These networks will operate in the 3400MHz-3800MHz band, a band identified by the [EU] Commission and the Member States as the ‘’pioneering zone’’ for the use of 5G in the EU, while the Department of Electronic Communications [DEC] gives the opportunity to mobile service providers to operate 5G pilot networks by November 2019 to test their equipment.’ The minister added that the preparations for the official licensing of 5G has begun, with airwaves in the band expected to be formally awarded in the fourth quarter of 2019. The commercial introduction of the service in the country is scheduled to take place in 2020.
Further, the ministry has revealed its Broadband Subsidy Grant Scheme, funded by the state budget, which will distribute around EUR800,000 (USD904,000) to eligible companies in 2019/2020, if they provide at least one product with a 100Mbps downlink speed. The total value of the sponsorship will cover 30% of the monthly subscription cost for twelve months, with a maximum of EUR30 per month. The minister highlighted: ‘The main objective of the Broadband Subsidy Grant Scheme is to increase the demand for ultra-high speed connections while encouraging the market to invest in high speed networks … I hope the Cypriot public will make use of the plan that has been drawn up, as it will ease their daily lives and their access to broadband services that are offered.’