The request, which was also forwarded to Serbia’s Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications, was accompanied by an SBB study carried out with international experts that indicated awarding 5G spectrum would provide significant benefits to consumers by stimulating competition and innovation.
Commenting on the development, SBB CEO Milija Zekovic said: “SBB believes that the conditions in the country have matured sufficiently to start the auction. The time is right for Serbia to follow its EU neighbours and ensure its 5G future. We must take full advantage of all the opportunities that the development of a digital society means for citizens. The rapid introduction of 5G services is a prerequisite for this”.
United Group notes that the Serbian government had previously said that an auction would be held by March 2021. However, the government now says bidding will be postponed until the end of the year as an economic consequence of the pandemic.
It adds that SBB believes quickly initiating a public bidding process for 5G ranges would prove that government bodies and regulators are committed to accelerating Serbia’s EU integration and to “becoming a leader in advanced technologies and digitalisation” by 2025, as Prime Minister Ana Brnabic stated in October of last year.