Greece has awarded 5G spectrum internet service to three operators, OTE Group, Vodafone and Wind Hellas in an auction on Wednesday that raised 372.26 million euros ($453.78 million).
Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Thursday that the 5G service will help transform the country into a great destination to work and retire in.
He clarified that the majority of available bandwidth was auctioned off, but an excluded part will be turned over free of charge to universities, startups and creativity centers.
In addition, he noted that 25 percent of fees paid by providers of 5G will be earmarked for the Faistos Fund, which will in turn support startups working on applications and services based on the new networks.
“We want to create an ecosystem in Greece around 5G,” the premier said, also referring to a first-time “digital bible” that will include all large infrastructural projects digitizing the state and the economy.
“I believe we have the brain power and talent that can do this and serve this. We want to turn Greece into a destination where people work and retire from. Connectivity plays a pivotal role in this overall plan.”
The first 5G network in Europe started operations in Germany, the second in Austria and the third in Greece, Deutsche Telekom Group CEO Tim Hoettges said at the meeting.
“For us, the bandwidth is our property asset on which we build our homes,” he said, adding that the group invests 17 billion euros on an annual basis, and 500 million euros in Greece solely for infrastructure.
He said that German engineers will ensure 50 percent of the Greek people have access to the network by the end of 2021, and all road networks full access in the next two years.