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New Auction for mobile communications in Portugal, including for 5G bands


ANACOM, the Portuguese Communications authority and regulator, has just published the Rules of Procedure draft that is deemed to be applicable to the new auction for the rights to use 5G bands and other useful bands for the development of mobile communications in general. The spectrum rights that will be auctioned include the band frequencies 700MHz (relevant for 5G), 900MHz, 1800MHz, 2.1 GHz, 2.6GHz and 3.6GHz (relevant for 5G also).

Reservation fees and reservation procedures are indicated in the Rules of Procedure draft. Fees for the 5G bands (700MHz e 3.6GHz) are insofar established according to the average of reservation fees set during the auctions carried out in Europe during 2018, although adjustments were made considering the extension of the Portuguese market, the local purchasing power and the duration of the usage rights at stake.

However, as to the remaining band frequencies that are useful and available for new operations and/or for further development of ongoing operations, (900MHz, 1800MHz, 2.1 GHz, 2.6GHz) everything indicates that the fees applicable in the past during the 2011/2012 multiband auction will be maintained by ANACOM.

Also, as regards to reservation fees, ANACOM is highlighting that “new entrants” shall be offered a 25% discount on the spectrum’s final price for 900MHz and 1800MHz bands and that all bidders may pay 1/3 (one third) of the spectrum’s final price for 700MHz, 900MHz and 3.6GHz bands on a differed manner and over the course of 5 years.

In order to prevent spectrum hoarding or jeopardise competitiveness in the electronic communications market, limits will be imposed to spectrum acquisitions of 5G bands (700MHz e 3.6GHz), which means each company may only acquire up to 2X10 MHZ in 700MHz band and up 100 MHz in 3.6GHz band.

The Rules of Procedure draft is subject to public suggestions and comments for a period of 30 days as from the date of publication by ANACOM of its submission to public consultation in the Official Gazette of Portugal (Diário da República). Such publication is estimated to take place today, February 12, 2020 according to ANACOM’s press release. Therefore, any contributions should be sent to ANACOM by e-mail until March 12, 2020.

ANACOM is estimating that the final draft of the Rules of Procedures for the auction will be approved next April, month during which the auction itself is scheduled to begin and last until June. Between June and August of 2020 this authority endeavours to ensure that the procedures for the attribution of spectrum’s usage rights shall be completed.


Ana Rita Paínho |

Inês de Sá |

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