LISBON (Reuters) - Portugal’s telecommunications market regulator Anacom plans to hold an auction between April and June next year to allocate next-generation 5G frequencies to national operators, it said on Wednesday.
Anacom said its decision is aligned with European Commission plans to start launching 5G services in all member states by the end of 2020 at the latest.
With the auction, Anacom wants to create market conditions to “enable the emergence of operations with different dimensions,” it said in a statement, adding that interested parties will be able to “acquire the amount of spectrum they really need and value”.
The proposal is under public consultation for a period of 20 working days. Anacom is expected to share the outcome of the consultation in January 2020.
If approved, the regulator said it will allocate six bands, including 700 megahertz, to ensure the transition to the next generation of mobile networks, and 3.6 gigahertz, which is able to provide needed capacity for 5G supported services.
“The allocation of rights of use for frequencies should be subject to an auction procedure as this is a potentially a more transparent and objective process for all stakeholders and less intrusive in their business plans,” Anacom said in statement.
The Portuguese unit of telecommunications firm Altice , the country’s largest operator, said last year it was working with China’s Huawei to make Portugal a European leader in the development and roll-out of 5G networks.
Altice Portugal told Reuters it is evaluating Anacom’s auction proposal.
Its main rivals, NOS and Vodafone Portugal, could not be immediately reached for comment.
Reporting by Catarina Demony and Sergio Goncalves; Editing by Andrei Khalip and David Holmes