Tele2: Not sensible to set up separate 5G networks in Estonia

  • 2020-06-16
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – The Estonian unit of telecommunications company Tele2 is of the opinion that it would not be ecologically, economically or technically sensible to establish several separate 5G communication networks.

Tele2 management board member Taivo Kendla wrote in a letter to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications that the reasonableness of building multiple communications networks must also take into account the prospects that security issues have arisen in connection with the 5G network, growing societal concerns about the potential effects of 5G technology on health and the environment, and the limited frequency resource of 5G.

"We believe that the pros and cons of setting up an operator-neutral 5G network should also be thoroughly analyzed in the course of the new consultation," Kendla added.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications announced on June 3 that Minister of Foreign Trade and IT Raul Siem has put to open consultation a regulation to change the terms and conditions of Estonia's first tender for 5G frequencies, according to which the tender would be staged for four frequency bands instead of three. According to the minister, this will facilitate competition, while simultaneously helping to ensure effective use of the frequency resource.

In the letter sent to the ministry, Tele2 said that the proposed changes involve a lot of technical details and fundamental issues and require a thorough feasibility analysis, so a full public consultation and analysis of the different options is needed to change the terms of the competition.

The telecom company also said that Estonia should allow an independent infrastructure company to build, own and operate the country's only 5G mobile network and sell network usage or access rights to qualified companies on an equal, regulated wholesale basis to provide 5G mobile services to end-users.

Tele2 also added that making 5G equally and fairly available to all companies would significantly increase competition in the 5G space -- allowing one operator to build one closed network would create competition concerns, but would not create significant market failures if it were an independent third party.