Romanian telecoms watchdog the National Authority for Management & Regulation in Communications (ANCOM) has announced the completion of its 5G multi-band spectrum auction, which saw the three bidders – Orange Romania, Vodafone Romania and RCS&RDS – agree to pay a total of EUR432.6 million (USD448.3 million) for 420MHz of frequencies in the 700MHz, 1500MHz, 2600MHz and 3400MHz-3800MHz bands, equivalent to 75.6% of the spectrum on offer. The country’s fourth mobile network operator (MNO), Telekom Romania Mobile Communications, opted to sit out the tender process.

Orange Romania was the highest bidder, paying EUR264.61 million for two blocks of 2×5MHz FDD spectrum in the 700MHz band, all eight blocks of 5MHz in the 1500MHz band, and 16 lots of 10MHz in the 3400MHz-3800MHz band. For its part, Vodafone Romania bid a total of EUR122.5 million for 2×5MHz of 700MHz FDD spectrum and ten blocks of 10MHz in the 3400MHz-3800MHz band, while RCS&RDS was awarded four blocks of 2×5MHz of 2600MHz FDD spectrum and five lots of 10MHz in the 3400MHz-3800MHz band, paying a total of EUR45.5 million.

User rights for spectrum in the 700MHz and 1500MHz bands will be valid for 25 years from 1 January 2023, the 3400MHz-3800MHz frequencies for 22 years starting from 1 January 2026, while rights in the 2600MHz band will be valid for the period 1 January 2023 until 5 April 2029. In terms of coverage commitments, the winning bidders will be required to provide mobile broadband services to at least 70% of the country’s population, most urban areas, highways, international airports and modernised railways, as well as 240 localities identified as having no or poor mobile coverage.

The EUR432.61 million raised by the auction will be paid in instalments, with the first payment totalling EUR119 million scheduled for 8 December and the final instalment of EUR80.01 million due on 17 November 2029.

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