November 12, 2018 / 2:48 PM / 5 months ago

REFILE-UPDATE 1-German regulator says still working on 5G auction draft amid delay talk

(Amends reporting attribution)

* Timetable for submitting final draft slips, BNetzA says

* Hopes to hold 5G auction in “early 2019”

* Original window had been Q1

* National security concerns mount after Australia bans Huawei

FRANKFURT/BERLIN, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Germany’s federal network regulator said on Monday it was still working on a final draft of terms for the planned auction of 5G mobile spectrum, amid growing talk in Berlin that the process may be put on hold to address national security concerns.

The regulator, called BNetzA for short, said it was working hard to complete the draft but would not be able to submit it two weeks before a meeting of its advisory board on Nov 26, as is customary.

“We are working at full speed on a final draft for the 5G auction. We can’t say, however, when it will be ready,” a spokeswoman for the agency said in response to a Reuters inquiry.

“We still plan to hold the auction in early 2019,” she added.

This timeline implies a possible delay from holding the auction in the first quarter, as was originally planned.

It comes as worries mount about national security following a 5G ban that Australia slapped on Chinese network gear supplier Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, German government and industry sources have told Reuters.

Reporting by Douglas Busvine; editing by Thomas Seythal, Michelle Martin and David Evans

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