ACM consults on mobile network sharing guidelines

23 Jun 2020

The Netherlands’ telecoms regulator the Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) has published for consultation its draft guidelines for sharing mobile networks, clarifying how cellcos may cooperate in their rollouts. ACM notes that cooperation between telecom providers can help ensure that investments are made in a responsible manner, whilst not at the expense of mutual competition. The guidance explains that cellcos may collaborate ‘at an earlier stage’ in finding new antenna locations to improve coverage and capacity of 4G and 5G mobile networks faster and more efficiently, as ACM highlights that it is becoming increasingly difficult to find antenna locations due to the growth in the number of mobile antennas and the decreasing availability of locations. The gradual phasing out of 2G/3G and legal rules for the rental of frequencies also offer opportunities to cooperate more, the watchdog added (stating that rental of frequencies to, for example, a provider of local business networks can provide new services and additional competition). ACM will take industry stakeholders’ responses into account when adopting a final set of guidelines.