Romania’s multi-band spectrum auction underwhelms

Romania’s multi-band spectrum auction underwhelms

Romania has concluded its multi-band auction of 195MHz of available spectrum.

The National Authority for Management and Regulation in Communications (ANCOM) invited bids on airwaves in the 800MHz, 2600MHz and 3400MHz-3800MHz bands, and ultimately received just two qualifying bids from RCS&RDS and Invite Systems. The auction brought in a total of EUR43.4 million (US$48.8 million) – well below the anticipated EUR72.5 million.

CommsUpdate reports that Digi-owned RCS&RDS  acquired 2×5MHz in the 800MHz band for EUR22 million, four 2×5MHz blocks in the 2600MHz FDD band for EUR17.2 million, and one block of 15MHz unpaired spectrum in the 2600MHz TDD band for EUR3.5 million. The operator’s permits are valid from 1st January 2022 until 5th April 2029. Invite Systems acquired significantly less spectrum - one unpaired 5MHz block in the 3400MHz-3600MHz band, for which it paid EUR700,000.

The coverage obligations vary between the different frequencies; 800MHz licensees must deliver mobile broadband with minimum download speeds of 2Mbps to 56 specific areas by the end of 2023, achieving 95% population coverage within these locations. Meanwhile, 3.5GHz licensees are obliged to deploy 25 base transceiver stations within 12 months of their licence becoming valid, 50 after 24 months and 100 after 42 months.

ANCOM vice-president Bogdan Iana stated: “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.”

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