ANACOM to speed up painfully slow 5G auction

12 Apr 2021

Portugal’s National Communications Authority (Autoridade Nacional de Comunicacoes, ANACOM) has reworked the terms of its ongoing 5G auction, as it seeks to speed up the sluggish bidding process. In a press release dated 8 April the watchdog noted: ‘In order to prevent a possible excessive extension of the 5G auction duration, ANACOM has decided to initiate a procedure to amend the regulation that would allow the introduction of procedural streamlining mechanisms, including an increase in the daily number of rounds and, if necessary, greater increments in the bid amounts.’

As of 7 April, the process had already witnessed 348 bidding rounds, with the offers rising incrementally by just 1% each time. ANACOM now intends to reduce the duration of each bidding round from 60 minutes to 15 minutes and allow bids to increase by 3%, neither of which measure will ‘distort the procedure or compromise the bidding strategies of the companies involved’. However, the watchdog has not ruled out increasing bids by 5%, 10%, 15% or 20% if these initial measures prove insufficient.

TeleGeography notes that the sale of 900MHz and 1800MHz spectrum – which was reserved for new market entrants – concluded on 11 January, after just eight days of bidding. The full 5G auction, which comprises sought-after spectrum in the 700MHz, 2100MHz, 2.6GHz and 3.6GHz bands commenced on 14 January.