Licensing system for UMTS/IMT2000 services

/ Updated on 11.07.2002
The provisions of Decision nr. 128/1999/CE of the European Parliament and the Council, of 14 December 1998, are related to the co-ordinated introduction of a third generation mobile and wireless system (UMTS) into the Community. So as to comply with said Decision, the Board of Directors of ICP approved, on 23 December 1999, the general procedure regarding the licensing of UMTS/IMT2000 services which shall be directed by the following principles:
  • Opening of a public tender for the attribution of four UMTS/IMT2000 licenses, valid for 15 years and renewable, using 2 × 15 MHz of shared spectrum on frequency bands 1920-1980 MHz/2110-2170 MHz and 5 MHz of non shared spectrum on frequency band 1900-1920 MHz, for each of the licenses.
  • Taking into consideration the need to guarantee that services can be provided as from 1 January 2002, the schedule that has been set begins with opening the tender in the third quarter of 2000, and licenses shall be attributed in the first quarter of 2001.
  • Establishing limits of shareholdings in competing commercial enterprises, so as to ensure that no bidder holds any shares, directly or indirectly, in the share capital of another bidder.
  • Roaming1 between the UMTS/IMT2000 system and second generation systems (GSM and DCS) shall be ensured under the terms foreseen in Decree-law nr. 415/98, of 31 December. Nevertheless, within the scope of the tender for the attribution of UMTS/IMT2000 licenses, roaming supply shall be one of the valorization criteria.

    Any roaming supply must be valid for at least five years, unless UMTS/IMT2000 operators who do not have GSM or DCS systems are declared as having significant market power. Roaming access conditions shall be subject to re-evaluation by ICP, two years as from the date of the attribution of the UMTS/IMT2000 licenses. Roaming supply conditions must adhere to a set of parameters to be established in the tender regulation, which shall also foresee that ICP may intervene in the resolution of legal disputes that may arise among the interested parties.
  • Consecration of the principle of not attributing any licenses if at least one of the proposals is not based in the UMTS standard, fulfilling additionally all the requirements set out in the respective regulations.
  • Preparation of legislative measures aiming at encouraging the sharing of infrastructures in UMTS/IMT2000 networks.
  • Establishment of minimum coverage requirements, which must ensure debits above 128 Kbps, with detailed specifications to be consecrated in the tender regulations according to the following schedule:
    • 20% of the national population at the end of the first year of the validity period of the UMTS/IMT2000 license;
    • 40% at the end of the third year;
    • 60% at the end of the fifth year.
These principles may be subject to alteration as a consequence of new technological or competitive developments.

1 The possibility assigned to an operator in order to ensure that service is provided to its clients in a specific geographical area where they do not have coverage through their own means.