ANACOM another step closer to 4G spectrum auction

24 Oct 2011

Portuguese telecoms regulator ANACOM has confirmed that a revised set of auction regulations for the allocation of frequencies in the 450MHz, 800MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, 2100MHz and 2600MHz spectrum bands have now been published in the country’s Official Gazette, bringing to an end an extended period of consultation. TeleGeography notes that in early-2011 ANACOM signified its intention to hold a spectrum auction for LTE-suitable frequencies as early as June this year, and the watchdog went on to release its draft regulations for public consultation on 17 March. In the event, ANACOM failed to hold the auction in June, and on 13 July 2011 the watchdog issued a significantly altered draft regulation relating to the spectrum auction. The delay was blamed on ‘the number, the merits and complexity of the contributions received under the consultation procedure’. Citing paragraph 5.17 of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreed between the Portuguese government, the EU, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Central Bank, ANACOM admitted that ‘significant changes’ needed to be made to the existing auction plans, with particular reference to the auction model, the amount of spectrum made available and the obligations imposed on the recipients – with a view to encouraging the participation of new operators. ANACOM has confirmed that it received submissions from all of the country’s main players, including: Portugal Telecom (PT), Zon Multimedia, Optimus, Vodafone Portugal and, as well as the Confederacao Portuguesa dos Meios de Comunicacao Social (Portuguese Media Confederation). However, despite the publication of the new regulations, it remains unclear when ANACOM actually plans to hold the auction itself.