80% of the country's population will have 5G connectivity by the end of 2025.

By the end of 2025, 80% of the country's population will have access to 5G connectivity as a result of the joint efforts of the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the CRC and mobile operators. This was stated by Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications Grigori Grigorov at the opening of an information day on the opportunities for Bulgarian organizations to apply for 5G projects under the Connecting Europe Facility.

The competition is a follow-up to the European Commission's WiFi4EU initiative to set up public access points for high-speed, wireless internet in public places. Then 91% of the Bulgarian municipalities that applied received funding and our country ranked first in the number of vouchers awarded. In this regard, Deputy Minister Grigorov called on educational and health institutions, municipal and public organizations to actively participate in the new competition for 5G projects in order to successfully use the funding opportunities. The total budget is EUR 51 million for all EU countries.

The deputy minister recalled that hard work is being done to implement an investment from the Recovery and Sustainability Plan, with the goal of nearly 400,000 Bulgarians in remote areas to have access to high-speed internet and use 5G mobile network. In parallel, all 265 municipalities will be connected with high-speed connections in a single network of public administration.

Fifth-generation connectivity will get even better development after this week mobile operators have already received licenses to use frequencies in the 700 and 800 megahertz bands, Grigori Grigorov added.

The new Connecting Europe Facility competition has improved application conditions, with a longer deadline for participants to prepare their proposals. This was said by Stavros Kalapothas from the Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology at the European Commission during the information day. He announced that EU funds would cover up to 75% of the investments made. The application deadline is 20 February 2024.