Portuguese cellcos intensify Dense Air spectrum complaints

27 Nov 2019

The long-running dispute over sought-after 5G-suitable frequencies in Portugal continues to rumble on, with Vodafone Portugal and Nos registering legal complaints about the National Communications Authority (Autoridade Nacional de Comunicacoes, ANACOM) and its position regarding spectrum held by small cell wholesale provider Dense Air Portugal. Helena Feria, Vodafone Portugal’s Director of Legal and Regulatory Affairs, told local media outlets: ‘Dense Air is not in the market. It has no revenues and no business, and that is more than enough reason for ANACOM to remove the spectrum.’ PT Portugal (MEO) officials, meanwhile, have called for resignations over the regulator’s delay in staging a 5G auction.

As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in October 2019 ANACOM approved a draft decision relating to the reconfiguration and relocation of the 3.4GHz-3.8GHz spectrum held by Dense Air. The watchdog said that the change ‘will contribute to the overall spectral efficiency of the 5G national market’ adding that Dense Air had acknowledged that the change did not make its commercial operation unfeasible.

The 15-year concessions currently held by Dense Air Portugal run from August 2010 until August 2025 and were previously held by Broadband Portugal, which is understood to have its roots in WiMAX licensees Bravesensor and ZAPPWIMAX.