Bucharest, 08 July 2016 - The Romanian Authority for Management and Regulation in Communications (ANCOM) has launched for public consultation the draft decision and the draft Terms of Reference with a view to organizing an auction for awarding the two national digital terrestrial television (DTT) multiplexes, the 26 regional and the 18 local multiplexes unawarded so far.
National multiplexes will cover the whole country with digital terrestrial television services, whereas each of the regional and local multiplexes will serve specific allotment areas, which may cover one county or one locality, respectively.
The awarding procedure
The multiplexes will be awarded by a competitive selection procedure, which requires that each bidder submit an initial bid, indicating the envisaged categories and the number of multiplexes. If the demand exceeds the number of available multiplexes, the auction may continue with primary rounds for the multiplexes where the demand exceeds the supply. For the remaining categories, the winners will be designated based on the initial bid. After the winners and the prices of all the wanted multiplexes have been established, the auction will continue by an allocation round through which the multiplexes will be awarded to the winning bidders based on the additional amounts they are willing to pay in order to acquire a certain frequency allocation.
All the multiplexes will be granted for a 10-year period, and the winners will be able to start the provision of commercial television broadcasting services subsequent to ANCOM's issuing the licence. Within two years since the date of licence issuance, the winners of the national multiplexes will have to put into operation at least 36 transmitters, whereas the winners of the regional or local multiplexes will have to launch into operation at least one transmitter in each allotment area within one year since licence issuance.
The minimum licence fee, i.e. the starting price in the auction, is EUR 300,000 for each of the two national multiplexes, whereas the one for the regional and for the local multiplexes ranges between EUR 10,000 for a regional multiplex in Bucharest and EUR 1,000 for a multiplex in a locality that is not a county capital. The licence fees have been established by the Government in February 2014.
In order to participate in the auction, an applicant must be a Romanian or foreign legal person (commercial company), submit all the required documents completely and accurately and the life duration of the applicant provided in its constitutive act must be at least 10 years from the entry into force of the right of use of the radio frequencies. Where an applicant aims at acquiring national multiplexes, its average turnover for the last 3 years or from the date of establishment - if the period since the establishment is shorter than 3 years - must be of minimum EUR 2,000,000. Companies belonging to the same group cannot apply.
A digital multiplex is a group of radio broadcasting and television programmes, additional multimedia services and other associated identification data transmitted from the emission stations to the end-users by terrestrial radio means, using digital modulation within the limits of a standard television channel/frequency block.
The auction documentation is available for consultation, in Romanian, here
. The interested persons are invited to send their comments and suggestions, by 08.09.2016, to the ANCOM headquarters (2 Delea Noua Street, Bucharest 3), or directly to the ANCOM Registry Office or by means of the Authority's regional offices. Comments may also be sent by fax to +40.372.845.402 or by e-mail to email@example.com
ANCOM has already organised three DTT auctions.
The first auction for national DTT multiplexes was completed in June 2014, when three national multiplexes were awarded to the National Broadcasting Company, this company winning the free to air multiplex and two other multiplexes in the UHF band, for EUR 1,020,002, i.e. licence fee.
Nine regional DTT multiplexes were awarded following an auction completed in February 2015. The winners were: Regal, which was awarded 1 regional multiplex (Râmnicu Vâlcea) for EUR 8,010, Cargo Sped, which was awarded 1 regional multiplex (Sibiu) for EUR 8,001, 2K Telecom, which was awarded 5 regional multiplexes (4 in Bucharest and one in Ploieşti) for EUR 52,000 licence fees, Radio M Plus, which obtained 1 regional multiplex (Iaşi), for EUR 10,000 and Digital Video Broadcast, which won 1 regional multiplex (Satu Mare), for EUR 8,000.
Following the third auction held by ANCOM, completed in May 2015, five new regional and local multiplexes were awarded: Info Total Press S.A. won 3 multiplexes (2 regional ones, in Suceava and Botoşani, and a local one in Bacău), for EUR 18,200, TV Sat 2002 won 1 regional multiplex in Buzău, for EUR 8,000, and Grup Est Security S.R.L. won a regional multiplex in Piatra Neamț for EUR 41,600. Read more, on ANCOM's website, here...