Raul Siem (EKRE), Minister of Foreign Trade and IT, decided to extend the period of public consultation with a view to changing the regulation of Estonia's first 5G frequency tender until June 31.
Siem said in a press release on Wednesday: "I have met with all communications business operators and I thank them for the feedback given to date. Since the market participants expressed the wish to get additional time to discuss the terms of the tender more thoroughly still, I see no reason why this wish should not be granted and additional time not found."
According to Siem's proposal, the frequency band of 3,410-3,800 MHz will be divided into four equal frequency areas instead of the originally planned three areas. The minister said that this will facilitate competition, while simultaneously helping to ensure effective use of the frequency resource.
Siem added that the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications has, in connection with the impact of the coronavirus crisis, among other things examined potential ways for enlivening the communications market. He described changing the division of the frequencies and the number of frequency licenses as one relevant measure.
Siem said: "This enables us on the one hand to keep the market open to as many bidders as possible, while ensuring effective use of the limited frequency resource on the other hand."
On Tuesday, ERR News wrote that telecommunications companies are criticizing Siem's decision to split the 5G frequency band into four parts in the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications' competition, as they believe that they can only offer 4G development, not quality 5G services, on smaller frequency bands.
Of Estonian operators, Telia and Tele2 have said that they do not support the minister's proposal for the issuance of four licenses, whereas Levikom is in favor of the change planned by the minister.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste