Romanian regulator delays 5G spectrum auction until 2020, says GlobalData

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Originally planned for December 2019, an auction is being held in in Romania in the first half of 2020 that is intended to support the development of 5G services. The delay of this auction may cause a relatively slow uptake of 5G services in the short-term, says GlobalData.

Tomasz Kulinski, Technology Analyst at GlobalData, commented:In Romania, the first 5G services were commercially launched based on existing frequency resources – in June 2019 by Vodafone and Digi, followed by Orange in November 2019. However, for further development of 5G services, vital spectrum bands need to be allocated to telecom operators.”

5G services were launched in limited areas in 2019 but 4G will remain the leading mobile technology, with its share of total mobile subscriptions growing from 38.7% in 2019 to 61.8% by 2024. 5G will constitute a 10.9% share of total mobile subscriptions in 2024.

The 2019 auction was said to be delayed due to not enough instruments meeting network security requirements; a need to implement the memorandum signed in August 2019 between Romania and the US on 5G technology security; and a need for the newly appointed government, which drafts the 2020 budget, to approve the licence fees and the calendar for their payment.

Comments submitted by telcos during the regulatory consultation in July 2019 has led ANCOM to propose an amended auction documentation for coverage obligations, which is now under review. In addition, ANCOM announced that the final decisions on the planned levels of payments, which were challenged by operators, will be taken directly by the Romanian Government.

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