Today, 18 March 2015, the Romanian Authority for Management and Regulation in Communications (ANCOM) launches a new auction for awarding the two national, 31 regional and 19 local DTT multiplexes unawarded in the previous selection procedures.
In order to take part in the auction, the interested persons must purchase the Terms of Reference, costing RON 4,000. The Terms of Reference, available – in Romanian – on the ANCOM website, may be purchased starting 18 March 2015 at the ANCOM headquarters in Bucharest, Sector 3, 2 Delea Noua Street, or, on a buyer’s request, it may be sent to the respective buyer as hardcopy or in electronic format, upon presentation of the document certifying that the value for the respective documentation has been paid and of the mandate, in original, of the person delegated to take it. The Terms of Reference can be obtained Monday to Thursday, from 09.00 to 16.00 hours, and Fridays from 09.00 to 14.00 hours.
The qualification criteria remain the same as in the previous auction organised for awarding the regional and local multiplexes. Thus, the candidate must be a Romanian or foreign legal person (company), it must accurately submit all the required documents, the operation period provided in the articles of incorporation should be at least 10 years from the entry into force of the usage rights. A bidder for the national multiplexes must have an average turnover for the past 3 years or for the period since its establishment - if the company is younger than three years - of minimum EUR 2,000,000. The bidder should not be part of another bidder’s group.
As established by the strategy on the transition from analogue terrestrial television to digital terrestrialtelevision approved by the government of Romania, the multiplexes shall be awarded by a competitive selection procedure. This means that each bidder should submit an initial offer indicating the categories and the number of multiplexes they wish to acquire. Where the request exceeds the number of multiplexes available, primary rounds will be organised. For the rest of the categories, the winners the winners will be designated based on the initial offer. After the winners and the prices for each targeted multiplex have been established, the auction may continue by an allocation round, where the multiplexes will be awarded to the winners depending on the additional amounts they are willing to pay for the assignment of a certain frequency.
Applications may be submitted by 22 April 2015, then, on 24 April 2015, the Authority will announce the applicants qualifying for the next stages of the selection procedure. The first winning offers will be announced on 5 May 2015, after which ANCOM is to announce whether auction rounds are required for certain categories.
The minimum licence fee, i.e. the starting price for each national multiplex is EUR 300,000, whereas for the regional and local multiplexes it ranges from EUR 1,000 for a multiplex awarded within a locality that is not a county capital and EUR 10,000 for a multiplex awarded within a county in category E, according to the classification in the Terms of Reference. Licence fees were established by the Government in February 2014.
National multiplexes will cover the whole country with digital terrestrial television services, whereas each of the regional and local multiplexes will serve a specific allotment, which may cover one county or one locality. All the multiplexes will be awarded for a 10-year period.
A digital multiplex is a group of radio broadcasting and television programmes, additional multimedia services and other associated identification data transmitted from the emission stations to the end-users by terrestrial radio means, using digital modulation within the limits of a standard television channel/frequency block.
The tender documentation is available on ANCOM’s website, here.
The first auction for national DTT multiplexes was completed in June 2014, when three national multiplexes were awarded to the National Broadcasting Company, this company winning the free to air multiplex and two other multiplexes in the UHF band, for EUR 1,020,002, i.e. licence fee.
Nine regional DTT multiplexes were awarded following an auction completed in February 2015. The winners were: Regal, which was awarded 1 regional multiplex (Rāmnicu Vālcea) for EUR 8,010, Cargo Sped, which was awarded 1 regional multiplex (Sibiu) for EUR 8,001, 2K Telecom, which was awarded 5 regional multiplexes (4 in Bucharest and one in Ploieşti) for a licence fee of EUR 52,000, Radio M Plus, which obtained 1 regional multiplex (Iaşi), for EUR 10,000 and Digital Video Broadcast, which won 1 regional multiplex (Satu Mare), for EUR 8,000.