BWA auction launched by ANACOM has three applicants

With the aim of encouraging new entrants to the broadband market and contributing to a reduction in the digital divide in certain geographical areas, ANACOM launched an auction to allocate rights of use of frequencies in the 3.4 to 3.6 GHz and 3.6 to 3.8 GHz bands to be used for the development of broadband wireless applications (BWA). Three entities presented applications to the auction process: Bravensor, Município de Sintra and Onitelecom.

Having examined the applications, the review committee proposed to the Regulator's Management Board that three applicants be allowed to participate in the auction. Following ANACOM’s decision to this effect, the three admitted candidates were notified accordingly and the process will now move to the bidding stage.

For the purpose of allocating the rights of use of frequencies, ANACOM decided to divide the national territory into nine zones, with four lots in each zone. Those interested in the frequencies may submit bids for all lots, only one lot, or in combinations which are of most interest to them.

The reserve price for each lot varies between 100 thousand and 300 thousand euros.

In order to encourage new entrants into the broadband market, as a way of promoting competition in the telecommunications sector, the allocation of rights of use of frequencies in these bands will be conducted in two phases.

In the first phase of the auction, participation is limited, whereby undertakings which are national mobile operators, which are broadband providers/operators with significant market power, or which already hold rights of use in the frequency bands in question are excluded. Any other undertaking, including national operators, foreign operators and municipalities, may compete in this 1st phase.
In the event that the rights of use remain available following the first phase, the second phase will be held without any restrictions placed on the undertakings that can participate.

ANACOM will permit flexible modes of spectrum use (fixed, nomadic and mobile modes), based on the principle of technological neutrality, and shall not therefore place any such restriction in terms of the operation of an electronic communications service or a specific technology. As such, operators will have the freedom and flexibility to decide what types of services they are interested in offering and what technologies they prefer to use, drawing up business plans which are aligned with own objectives.

The allocation of rights of use of frequencies by geographic area is presented as a flexible means of allocation which does not preclude operators who operate frequencies on a national basis. Geographic division of allocation will reduce the existence of "info-exclusion" currently existing in certain areas, since it enables business models to emerge which target the markets of such areas. The view was taken that the adoption of the geographic division model in the allocation of rights of use gives greater flexibility to market players, leaving it to the market to decide on which business models are best suited to their needs.