ANACOM increases bidding increments to speed up sluggish 5G auction

21 Sep 2021

Portugal’s National Communications Authority (Autoridade Nacional de Comunicacoes, ANACOM) has announced that it has increased the bidding increments in its slow-moving 5G auction. Published on 20 September, Regulation No. 867-A/2021 will enter force on 27 September 2021 and allow participating companies to raise their respective bids by 5%, 10%, 15% and 20% – rather than the current 1%.

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 and is now on its 158th day of bidding (21 September).

Previously, in June this year, ANACOM increased the number of daily bidding rounds from seven to twelve, but the measure proved insufficient. Defending the new move, the watchdog wrote: ‘This excessive extension of the auction is highly harmful to national interests, which is why ANACOM has approved this amendment to the auction rules to speed up the process, while maintaining bidders’ flexibility in determining the price … This change does not compromise the bidders’ future strategies, does not affect the discovery of the price already achieved during the auction, nor does it create discrimination between them, not giving advantages to one bidder over another.’