Romania’s National Authority for Management and Regulation in Communications (ANCOM) says five firms submitted applications to take part in its forthcoming mobile spectrum auction by the 13 August deadline. The regulator is conducting its largest ever single allocation of frequencies in the tender, which is due to start on 10 September. The bandwidths are being made available for the provision of wireless services covering the period 2013-2029 and include spectrum in the 800MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz and 2600MHz bands. ANCOM says that an auction commission will now examine the submitted qualification documents and will announce the shortlisted operators which will go forward to the auction proper, by 20 August. The winners are likely to be announced in October, depending on the number of bidding rounds.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, 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.