ANCOM invites applications for September spectrum auction

3 Jul 2012

Romania’s National Authority for Management and Regulation in Communications (ANCOM) has published the terms of reference relating to its upcoming auction of frequency usage rights in the 800MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz and 2600MHz spectrum bands between 2013 and 2029. Companies interested in participating in the auction have been invited to submit an application and file their participation bond by 13 August 2012, with the auction’s commission set to announce the candidates that have qualified for the next stage of the tender by 20 August 2012; a provisional start date of 10 September 2012 has been mooted, with the winners likely to be announced in October, depending on the number of bidding rounds. Among other qualifications, interested parties must be able to prove an average turnover of at least EUR10 million (USD12.6 million) for each of the last three years. Initial applications must also indicate the number of blocks which the candidate wishes to acquire in each of the available spectrum categories (see below).

The auction will see two types of concession offered; long-term licences (valid for 15 years until April 2029) and short-term licences (valid for 15 months until April 2014). The former will consist of 42 paired 5MHz blocks, broken down as follows: six in the 800MHz band, seven in the 900MHz band, 15 in the 1800MHz band and 14 in the 2600MHz band, as well as three unpaired 15MHz blocks in the 2600MHz band. All long-term concessions will be valid from 6 April 2014. With regards to short-term licences, ANCOM will auction ten paired 2.5MHz blocks in the 900MHz band and six paired 5MHz blocks of spectrum in the 1800MHz band; these resources are currently used by Orange and Vodafone. As previously indicated by ANCOM, the terms of reference oblige all successful applicants to grant network access to mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), with incentives such as reduced coverage obligations provided to operators displaying a willingness to accommodate MVNOs.