Poland's 5G auction delayed due to coronavirus

WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland’s telecoms regulator has dropped a deadline for its first 5G auction due a government clampdown designed to tackle the spread of the corononavirus.

Poland had initially sought preliminary offers from telecom companies interested in acquiring spectrum in the auction by April 23, but the deadline will be missed due to the pandemic, the regulator said its public information bulletin on Friday.

It gave no other details and no indication of a new timetable.

“We are surprised, because all previous signs from the regulator’s side were such that the auction will go on schedule,” said Wojciech Jabczynski, spokesman for Orange Polska, a unit of France’s Orange.

Other telecom operators were not immediately available to comment.

Poland confirmed its first coronavirus case at the beginning of March and the number of infected has grown to 8,214 since then. On March 12 Poland said it would announce a state of epidemic threat.

Reporting by Anna Koper; Editing by David Holmes