5G regulation and law in Luxembourg

Information current as of 30 December 2019

What is the state of 5G deployment in Luxembourg?

5G will not be available before 2020 and full commercial deployment is not expected before 2022. 

Which telcos and communications players are launching 5G services?

A public consultation with all players was launched in March 2019. Applicants for a 5G licence must first be registered as an operator in Luxembourg. Such request should be filed to the Luxembourg Institute of Regulation (ILR). In July 2019, further to the public consultation launched by the ILR, 6 companies have applied for the 700 MHz band: CMD Solutions-Colibri, Eltrona Interdiffusion, MTX Connect, Orange Luxembourg, Post Technologies and Proximus Luxembourg. 

For the 3.4 – 3.8 MHz bands, 9 companies have applied: CMD Solutions-Colibri, Eltrona Interdiffusion, MTX Connect, Orange Luxembourg, Post Technologies, Proximus Luxembourg, Dense Air, Luxembourg Online and SES. 

Are there any public tenders for spectrum licences?

Yes.

What are the conditions?

According to the Prime Minister, the costs related to 5G in Luxembourg are estimated at €170 million for the mobile operators. 

What has the government said regarding spectrum licences for commercial use?

Assignment of the 700 MHz and 3.6 GHz frequencies was scheduled for the second half 2019 but was ultimately delayed until the first half of 2020. No specific reasons have been given. The 26 GHz frequencies are expected to become available in the second half 2020. The licences should be granted either for 20 years or for 15 years with 5 more years of tacit reconduction.

The Luxembourg government will spend €30 million over 3 years to co-finance the initial investments needed to implement the essential infrastructure for the development of 5G. As more companies than expected applied to obtain a 5G licence, auctioning seems to be the most plausible option. The “beauty contest” could also be a second option as it was done for the 3G licence. 

Are the rules for 5G already drafted, and if so, what do they say?

Not yet. The Grand-Ducal Regulation of 5 December 2018, which amended the already-amended Grand-Ducal Regulation of 21 February 2013 setting the amount and terms of payment of fees for the provision of radio frequencies will be most likely amended once the 5G licences have been granted.

What are or would be the rules for granting competitors access to the new 5G networks, once they are deployed?

This information is currently unavailable, but may become clearer once the frequencies are allocated.

Laure Chemla
Laure Chemla
Counsel
Luxembourg