Anacom changes 5G regulations

 In 5G, News, Telecoms

The Portuguese telecoms sector regulator and supervisor ANACOM is to begin a second process to change the regulations governing the supervisor’s 5G auction.

It has done this in a bid to try and speed the sale of frequencies by stopping the use of very low increments of 1% and 3% which is slowing down the auction.
Monday saw the 150th day of biddings in what is still in the main phase of the auction with Portugal running the risk of being the last country in the EU to launch 5G. That means that along with Lithuania, Portugal is the only country to not yet have 5G technology.
On 30 June, the first set of new rules for the 5G auction came into force which allow for Anacom to supervise 12 rounds of daily bids instead of seven. The changes have been strongly opposed by the big 3 telecoms operators in Portugal Altice (MEO), Nos and Vodafone.
They have a bone to pick with Anacom over what they see as new outsiders being given unfair competitive advantages in the Portuguese market. ANACOM disagrees saying that the Portuguese telecoms market is effectively controlled by a three company cartel which is dominating pricing and democracy of choice at the expense of the consumer.
However, things didn’t go quite as expected. “Anacom had thought that the increase in the number of rounds would be enough to prevent the auction dragging on excessively, but that wasn’t the case.
“There have been around 300 rounds since the measure had been implemented but the rate of progress has maintained sluggishly low” says Anacom in a communiqué.
Anacom had already threatened that if the number of rounds failed to complete the auction faster, it would press ahead with regulations that would prevent bids of 1% and 3%.
And this step has now been taken. In a statement on Thursday, Anacom, led by João Cadete de Matos, said that because operators were still bidding at 1% and 3%, “Anacom has decided to begin changes to the 5G Regulations to prevent the use of 1% and 3% bids so as to speed up the auction.”
The big three operators now have just five working days to make suggestions to the regulator which will be followed by a pubic consultation period of a further five working days.
Anacom believes that the “implementation of 5G is now extremely urgent both at an EU and national level” in order to make up for the “deficiencies in network cover and improve economic and social development”.
The 5G auction has so far received €347.6 million in bids on the 148th day of the auction from the telecoms operators