Altice Portugal appeals Anacom decision on 5G deadline

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Altice Portugal is to fight in court the decision by telecoms regulator Anacom to insist on an operational deadline it cannot meet for migrating the frequency band currently occupied by Terrestrial Digital Television (TDT) in Portugal to 5G.

The band rights are a vital condition for the implementation process for 5G in Portugal but the problem is the timetable set out by the telecoms regulator to free up the 700 MHz band.
The band is the electromagnetic spectrum that will host 5G but is currently occupied by TDT.
The regulator Anacom wants this process completed by 30 June 2020, but Altice Portugal, which owns MEO, says that the deadline is “impossible to meet” estimating that the timeframe will drag on until at least the third week of 2020.
Altice Portugal’s decision had already been relayed to Anacom, the Government and even the President of the Republic.
In a final decision published on 8 October, the regulator set the start of migration works between the third week of January and the first week of February.
Altice says that it has already put in orders to its suppliers for new equipment necessary to free up the band occupied by TDT for frequencies migration, but the orders will take four months to be completed.
Even so, Altice estimates that it will only be ready to begin the TDT migration in the first week of February.
“Altice Portugal, which strongly denies any responsibility for possible delays in the process” has pointed out a number of constraining factors such as “the occurrence of adverse weather conditions”.
“The 30 June 2020 date to complete the freeing up of the band spectrum is not achievable” the company insists.