Madrid (AFP)

The Spanish state has withdrawn about one billion euros from the procedure for allocating frequencies in the 700 Megahertz (MHz) band intended to allow the deployment of new 5G mobile technology, for which the auction was launched on Tuesday.

"The total cumulative sum for all the concessions awarded reached 1.01 billion euros," announced the Ministry of the Economy in a statement released Tuesday evening.

This figure is barely higher than the starting amount of the auction, which had been set by the State at 995 million euros.

These frequencies are considered as the "golden frequencies" because of their qualities in terms of territory coverage and the penetration of waves into buildings, thus making it possible to offer a very high speed mobile internet of quality in various situations.

On the days of Tuesday and Wednesday, "a total of 12 rounds of auction were carried out with the participation of the three operators authorized to participate", Orange, Vodafone and Telefonica, specifies the ministry.

The concessions will have a minimum term of 20 years and a maximum of 40 years.

These auctions took place in a peaceful atmosphere in Spain: the deployment of 5G networks there hardly arouses any controversy on the issue of environmental or health impact, unlike what is happening in other European countries including France. , where 5G arouses the hostility of a section of opinion.

Two other auctions of frequencies intended for 5G networks have already been carried out in Spain: in 2018, for the 3.6-3.8 GHz band and at the start of the year for the 20 MHz frequency, or so-called millimeter band, which should allow to develop specific services requiring a very high capacity.

© 2021 AFP