Implementation of the UMTS system in Portugal

/ Updated on 05.03.2002

Following the assignment process of licenses for operation of the UMTS system, this Institute received requests indicating the need to postpone the start date of this system's operations, because it was considered to be impossible to offer commercial services within the deadlines and conditions established in the licences.

Considering that:

a) The grounds presented for the impossibility of the service entering into operation on the start date specified in the license, result from the existence of alleged delays in provision of third generation terminals, as well as difficulties in stabilising the network 'software' as a result of delays in the preparation of the norms to be used in the development of systems associated to UMTS networks;

b) The assigned UMTS licenses foresee a specific date for the start of operations in accordance with timetables to which the licensees are bound, whereby the start date of operations may only be deferred on grounds of duly justified force majeure, recognised as such by ICP;

c) The existence of grounds of force majeure depends on confirmation as to the unforeseeable, obstructive and insurmountable nature of the facts presented by the operators, considered to be indispensable in order to comply with the license's obligations.

ICP `s Board of Directors decided, on July 31, 2001:

1. To request that the operators licensed to operate the UMTS/IMT2000 systems, present due grounds of the situation, in the context of the economic, market and technical assumptions, specifically including letters of declaration from manufacturers and/or suppliers, and others, and clearly indicating the forecast date for overcoming difficulties identified;

2. Also considering that it is important to guarantee national coverage in third generation networks and services as quickly as possible, while at the same time safeguarding a desirable level of competition, the Board of Directors, admits the possibility, subject to due grounds presented by the operators, of shared use of network infrastructures e.g. via 'roaming' agreements (UMTS) in zones with lower levels of population density/income, for a limited period of time;

3. A formal consultation shall be conducted of manufacturers of infrastructures and terminals, regarding the dates of effective availability of equipment and minimum quantities in order to permit commercial operation of UMTS services;

4. In light of the data received, confirm whether these facts qualify as 'force majeure', and if so, the resulting period of postponement.