Anacom to hold 5G auction in January
Portugal’s telecoms regulator Anacom says that auctions to decide which telecoms operators win tenders to install the 5G network nationwide will be completed by the end of January.
It will pave the way for 5G to be made available for Portuguese businesses and households from the first quarter of 2021.
The President of Anacom, João Cadete de Matos, said in a parliamentary hearing on Tuesday that the 5G auction “is running according to the timetable,” adding that the intention was to complete the process in January, creating the conditions for the first commercial rollout in the first quarter of 2021.
“The deadline for the delivery of applications ended a few days ago. In the meantime we have also carried out checks to verify that the applicants are qualified. We are now entering a second phase where we will be receiving bids and which will occur in two phases. One phase for new players, and later, the main bidding phase,” said João Cadete de Matos.
“We think that in January, depending on the number of rounds, it will be possible to conclude the auctions and from there carry out the procedures for granting licences and ensure that businesses can pursue their business based on these licences,” said Cadete de Matos.
João Cadete de Matos was called to appear before the Economy, Innovation, Public Works and Housing Commission to explain the decisions taken by Anacom for regulating the 5G auction which has been severely criticised by Portugal’s telecoms operators such as NOS and Altice Portugal.
“The auction covers the right to use licences for various technologies, not just the basic 5G, but also 4G. The 5G frequencies of 700 MHz and 3.6 GHz will be made fully available. Where bands are reserved for new players, this will only be for frequencies associated with 4G and, even for this, will represent only a small percentage of the spectrum,” said João Cadete de Matos.
The telecoms players MEO, NOS and Vodafone applied to the courts to try and stop the 5G auction. Recently, Anacom was forced to invoke the argument that: “it would be of great prejudice to the public interest to prevent a legal injunction which would have prevented the auction from going ahead”.