Romania has become the latest country to announce a 5G spectrum auction. According to the Romanian regulator, the National Authority for Management and Regulation in Communications (ANCOM), the auction will take place in the fourth quarter of this year.
However, ANCOM, had previously indicated that there would be an auction in the first quarter of the year. This was postponed after the signing of a memorandum by Romania and the US for the development of safe 5G technologies. The requirement that the memorandum be formally endorsed by government was not the only reason for the postponement; delays to European Union guidance on so-called ‘high-risk’ suppliers of 5G technologies also slowed down the process. Concerns about Huawei are not directly mentioned in either case, though they may be implied.
ANCOM is the body that protects the interests of communications users in Romania by promoting competition in the communications market, ensuring the management of scarce resources and encouraging innovation and efficient investments in infrastructure. It reportedly intends to auction spectrum in the 700MHz, 800MHz, 1500MHz, 2600MHz and 3400MHz-3600MHz bands. It aims to finalise the tender documentation by the end of the third quarter. There will also be a consultation process to assess market interest in acquiring the frequencies.
It is estimated that successful 5G applications could become available commercially within the next two years, barring unexpected delays.