Romania’s National Authority for Management and Regulation in Communications (ANCOM) has announced the conclusion of the auction to allocate 195MHz of available spectrum in the 800MHz, 2600MHz and 3400MHz-3800MHz bands. The two winning bidders, RCS&RDS and Invite Systems, will pay a total of EUR43.4 million (USD48.8 million) – far less than the EUR72.5 million the regulator had hoped to raise.
RCS&RDS (DIGI) paid a total of EUR42.7 million for 2×5MHz in the 800MHz band (EUR22 million), four 2×5MHz blocks in the 2600MHz FDD band (EUR17.2 million) and one block of 15MHz unpaired spectrum in the 2600MHz TDD band (EUR3.5 million), all with user rights valid from 1 January 2022 until 5 April 2029. Invite Systems, meanwhile, paid EUR700,000 for usage rights to one unpaired 5MHz block in the 3400MHz-3600MHz band, valid between 1 January 2022 and 31 December 2025.
In terms of coverage obligations, 800MHz licensees will need to cover 95% of the population of 56 specified localities with mobile broadband download speeds of at least 2Mbps by end-2023, while rights holders in the 3.5GHz band must deploy 25 base transceiver stations (BTS) within a year of entry into force of the licence, rising to 50 BTS after two years and 100 after three years and six months.
ANCOM vice-president Bogdan Iana commented: ‘We decided to organise the auction this year in order to offer the opportunity to the interested operators to maximise their portfolio of spectrum, so as to expand the capacity of their own networks and, consequently, to be able to offer state-of-the-art services. This allocation of additional spectrum for mobile broadband communications services will give a new breath to the competition on the Romanian telecom market, for the benefit of end users.’