Argentina announced on Wednesday (11 Oct) that it will put its 5G spectrum to auction later this month to raise over $1bn in funds.

Argentina’s government requires foreign currency to ease its current economic crisis.

Argentina’s economy has struggled to gain a stable footing owing to its persisting problem of sovereign debt. President Alberto Fernandez negotiated a deal with the IMF in 2022 to restructure its $44.5bn debt from the country’s record 2018 bailout.

The ramifications of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine coupled with a drought which damaged crops and exports have also weakened Argentina’s economy. In 2023, inflation increases and depleting dollar reserves are weighing heavily on the country as it prepares for its October 2023 general elections.

Financing has been a major impediment to 5G deployment globally, with governments increasingly looking to collaborate with the private sector to upgrade infrastructure.

European telecom operators may have to wait for the next European Parliament election in mid-2024 to push Big Tech to finance the spread of 5G, a source told Reuters on Tuesday (10 October).

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Orange, Telecom Italia and Telefonica proposed that GoogleAmazonNetflix and Meta shoulder a portion of 5G rollout costs due to their high internet traffic.

Likewise, several Chinese service providers have been deemed ‘high risk’ and excluded from a list of potential providers. Huawei is challenging the Spanish government for what it considers to be a ‘veto’ of its 5G network and equipment.

The Chinese tech giant has appealed the Ministry of Economy’s rules which may prevent it from accessing state aid.