Romania to grant 5G licences by end of 2019

11 Jun 2019

Romania’s National Authority for Management and Regulation in Communications (ANCOM) has finalised the conditions and procedure for radio spectrum allocation in the 700MHz, 800MHz, 1500MHz, 2600MHz and 3400MHz-3800MHz frequency bands. The regulator expects to complete the tendering procedure for the available spectrum by 31 October and award 5G licences in December, enabling the winning operators to use part of the spectrum from 1 January 2020.

ANCOM will propose the amendment of the National Table of Radio Frequency Allocation before 15 August in order to examine ways to reallocate the 700MHz frequency band, which is currently assigned to broadcast services. The regulator will make available 2×30MHz and 1×15MHz blocks in the 700MHz band, 2×5MHz blocks in the 800MHz range, 1×40MHz block in the 1500MHz band, 2×40MHz blocks in the 2600MHz band, and 90MHz (short term) and 400MHz (longer term) of spectrum in the 3400MHz-3800MHz range. The rights to use the spectrum in the 700MHz and 1500MHz bands will have a 15-year validity beginning on 1 January 2021 for the 700MHz band and 1 January 2020 for the 1500MHz band. Licences for the spectrum to be auctioned in the 800MHz and 2600MHz bands will be granted for a ten-year validity period, with options for aligning the expiry date with existing rights in those bands up to 5 April 2029. Telekom Romania Mobile Communications, Orange and Vodafone have rights of use in the 800MHz band until 5 April 2029, while Telekom Romania, Orange, Vodafone and RCS&RDS have rights to use frequencies in the 2600MHz band until the same date.

For spectrum allocation, ANCOM will apply a competitive selection procedure similar to that organised 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. These initial bids will enable the regulator to assess demand for spectrum in the different bands. The auction’s starting prices for each frequency block, set according to the frequency allocation procedure for the concerned bands, will be determined from the minimum fees set in accordance with the rules in force for the licensing of frequencies in the concerned bands.