The 5G auction conditions and procedure are now in place
ANCOM completed, during the Consultative Council, held on Friday, 7 June 2019, the Position Paper on awarding usage rights for the frequency spectrum available in the 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 1500 MHz, 2600 MHz and 3400-3800 MHz bands. ”Today, we have set the conditions and the procedure for awarding spectrum usage rights in the bands envisaged for the implementation of 5G technology. We intend to complete the awarding procedure for the spectrum available in the bands designated for the implementation of next-generation technology by 31 October and to issue the corresponding licenses by the end of this year. The winners will be able to use part of the frequency spectrum from 1 January 2020.”, stated Bogdan IANA, vice-president of ANCOM.
Schedule of organising the auction
15 August 2019 is the deadline by which ANCOM will propose amendments to the NTFA (National Table of Frequency Allocations) in order to allocate the 700 MHz band to the land mobile service, as this band is currently allocated to the broadcasting service. This is a necessary step in view of the selection procedure for awarding the spectrum available in the 700 MHz band, which is deemed adequate for the future development of mobile broadband systems.
By the end of August 2019, the Authority will have laid down and completed, after public consultation with the industry, the documentation for the actual organisation of the selection procedure on awarding usage rights for the frequency spectrum available in the 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 1500 MHz, 2600 MHz and 3400-3800 MHz bands, which is to be finalised by 31 October 2019.
In December 2019, the winners will be awarded the licences for the use of radio frequencies, which enables the respective operators to use some of the acquired frequencies from 1 January 2020.
In the first half of 2020, the final steps will be taken towards concluding cross-border coordination agreements on the use of digital terrestrial television with Ukraine and bilateral agreements with the neighbouring countries on the coordination of frequency use for MFCN networks.
Frequencies to be auctioned off
ANCOM will make available to the interested operators the frequency spectrum available in the 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 1500 MHz, 2600 MHz and 3400-3800 MHz bands. The spectrum available in the 700 MHz band consists of 2 x 30 MHz (FDD) and 1 x 15 MHz (SDL), in the 800 MHz band - 2 x 5 MHz (FDD), in the 1500 MHz band - 1 x 40 MHz (SDL) and in the 2600 MHz band - 2 x 40 MHz (FDD).
In the 3400-3800 MHz band, 90 MHz (TDD) will be auctioned off for a shorter, 6-year term (01.01.2020 – 31.12.2025) and 400 MHz (TDD) for a longer, 10-year term (01.01.2026 – 31.12.2035). The shorter validity term of some frequency usage rights has been designed in order to align the expiry date of these rights with the one of the usage rights already awarded in this band, in the 2015 selection procedure.
The frequency usage rights in the 700 MHz and 1500 MHz bands, already available for awarding, will have a validity term of 15 years, from 1 January 2021 (in the 700 MHz band) and respectively from 1 January 2020 (in the 1500 MHz band).
ANCOM intends to award the licences for the frequency usage rights auctioned off in the 800 MHz and 2600 MHz bands for a 10-year validity term, and to further analyse options for aligning the expiry date of these rights with the ones of the existing usage rights in these bands, valid until 5 April 2029. In the 800 MHz band, Telekom Romania Mobile Communications, Orange and Vodafone currently hold usage rights valid until 5 April 2029. Moreover, in the 2600 MHz band, Telekom Romania Mobile Communications, Orange, Vodafone and RCS&RDS currently hold frequency usage rights valid until 5 April 2029.
In auctioning off spectrum usage rights, ANCOM will apply a competitive selection procedure similar to that organized in 2012, which requires each interested operator to submit an initial bid indicating the number of blocks it wants to acquire in each of the available bands. Initial bids will show whether the demand exceeds the amount of spectrum available in certain bands, whether the demand meets the number of bands available in each of the bands (spectrum categories) or the demand does not exceed the amount of spectrum available.
The auction starting prices for each frequency block, configured according to the frequency awarding procedure for the bands concerned, will be determined starting from the minimum licence fees set in accordance with the rules in force for awarding the frequency usage licences in the respective bands.