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UPDATE 2-Greece raises 372 mln euros from 5G frequencies auction

(Adds operators obligation on network coverage)

ATHENS, Dec 16 (Reuters) - Greece has raised 372.26 million euros ($453.78 million) from auctioning 5G mobile frequencies, telecoms regulator EETT said on Wednesday, boosting the country’s efforts to cut its debt.

After six binding rounds, three telecoms operators, OTE Group, Vodafone and Wind Hellas secured different blocks in the 700 MHz, 2 GHz, 3,400-3,800 MHz and 26 GHz band, EETT said in a statement.

Both OTE and Wind have teamed up with Ericsson to secure the necessary technology for the 5G networks.

Greece will use the proceeds from the auction to help cut its debt, the euro zone’s highest as a percentage of gross domestic product, and offer funds to startups that will develop 5G products and services.

Under the licensing terms, the three operators will need to make sure that their 5G networks reach at least 60% of the population by 2023 and 94% by 2026.

The first 5G networks will have been deployed by March 2021, the country’s digital governance ministry said in a statement, following the auction. ($1 = 0.8203 euros) (Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou, editing by Louise Heavens, Kirsten Donovan)

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