Altice in investment threat over 5G auction rules
Altice Portugal is looking into stepping down its investments in Portugal if the market regulator Anacom insists on “unfair” rules governing the new 5G auction.
It would mean that should Anacom continue to maintain its position, which all operators in Portugal are said to be against, it would rationalise or cut back on its involvement in big ticket investment projects.
The CEO of Altice Portugal, Alexandre Fonseca was referring to Aancom rules that were already announced for the launch of the new 5G auction but which will only be made public this month.
It is not the first time that Altice has criticised the 5G process and now that the date for the new auction is approaching, a barrage of criticism is mounting from the operators.
Vodafone and NOS have actually admitted that they may not even compete and now Altice is stating it might not either.
Without commenting on the position of competitors, Alexandre Fonseca says that Portugal is experiencing “a hostile and adverse regulatory environment, which not only fails to stimulate investment, but pushes away any potential investor who wants to invest capital in Portugal’s telecommunications sector.”
It is a sector in which everyone, from the Government to independent associations, large international consultancy firms and technology manufacturers are unanimous in criticising Anacom’s management of the 5G dossier. Anacom is headed by Cadete de Matos.
“Since all of the national operators in Portugal are private companies, it is natural that their shareholders would legitimately seek to make a return on the hundreds of millions of euros that they inject into our economy on an annual basis, seeking a stable environment, without surprises, and one that stimulates investment,” he said.
“Today, given the situation Portugal is going through at the moment, it’s a bit sad that the opposite is true,” added the CEO of Altice Portugal in a statement to the Portuguese new agency Lusa.
Alexandre Fonseca says that the investment Altice has made “should be in line with an economic rationale that enables a viable return on that same investment, supporting value creation and the maintenance of tens of thousands of jobs in Portugal’s telecoms industry while the growth of the sector today is now, more than ever, vital for Portugal’s economic development and growth.”
This week, according to online news source ECO, NOS stated that the Anacom rules governing the 5G auction are illegal and accused Anacom of putting investment in the sector at risk. Both NOS and Vodafone say they will not take part in the auction if the rules are not changed.