Czech Republic

Information current as of 13 February 2019

What is the state of 5G deployment in the Czech Republic?

5G technologies were tested by Vodafone in July 2018. The Czech Telecommunications Office (“the Office”) subsequently conducted a test in cooperation with Nokia, in September 2018. However, the commercial launch is expected in course of the year 2020 at the earliest.

Which telcos and communications players are launching 5G services?

As 5G is not yet commercially launched, no companies have launched 5G services yet. However, the three biggest operators in the market – O2, Vodafone and T-Mobile – are expected to be interested in 5G services. According to publicly available information, Nokia, Huawei and PPF will be interested in 5G network infrastructure.

Are there any public tenders for spectrum licences?

No.

Has there been any comment on when there might be?

On 2 January 2019, the Office has published an updated version of a document outlining the conditions for the public auction for 5G radio frequencies. It says the public auction for spectrum licences can be expected in the second half of 2019 and will end 2020.

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

The Czech government fully supports development of new generation networks. In May 2018, the Czech government approved a report of the Office on the strategic development of the use of the radio spectrum, which takes into account use of certain frequencies for 5G services.

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

There are existing rules in the Electronic Communications Act regarding the use of spectrum licences, which will also fully apply to 5G services. Certain specific rules/conditions for the use of 5G depend on the conditions of the public auction for 5G spectrum licences.

The public auction for 5G radio frequencies sets out conditions for the spectrum licence holders, including obliging them to: use the spectrums and shall start providing 5G services within 18-36 months; ensure coverage of at least 95% of the territory and 99% of persons in specified regions within seven years.

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

There are existing rules in the Electronic Communications Act regarding access to physical infrastructure, which will also apply to 5G networks. In summary, the operator of physical infrastructure is generally obliged to conclude a written contract with other entrepreneurs in electronic communication and allow them to access the physical infrastructure based on fair, proportionate and non-discriminatory conditions.