The National Authority for Management and Regulation in Communications (ANCOM) is the body that protects the interests of the communications users in Romania, by promoting competition in the communications market, ensuring the management of scarce resources and encouraging innovation and efficient investments in infrastructure.
The institution that regulates the Romanian electronic communications sector today resulted from the merger of two bodies with experience and expertise in the relevant field of management and regulation: The Inspectorate General for Communications and Information Technology (IGCTI) and the National Regulatory Authority for Communications and Information Technology (ANRCTI).
In July 2012, ANCOM auctioned out the usage rights in the 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2600 MHz bands for the provision of mobile communications services in the 2013-2029 timeframe. The auction procedure was open, ascendant, multi-bands and multi-rounds and ended in 24 September 2012. Two types of licences were be awarded following the auction: long-term licences (15 years, valid until April 2029) and short-term licences (1 year and three months, valid until April 2014).
For the long-term licences, ANCOM auctioned out 42 paired blocks of 5 MHz each, 6 of which in the 800 MHz band, 7 in the 900 MHz band, 15 in the 1800 MHz band and 14 in the 2600 MHz band, as well as 3 unpaired blocks of 15 MHz each in the 2600 MHz band. These licences were awarded starting 6 April 2014. With regard to the licences to be awarded for a shorter period, ANCOM auctioned out 10 paired blocks of 2.5 MHz in the 900 MHz band and 6 paired blocks of 5 MHz in the 1800 MHz band.
Following the spectrum auction held by ANCOM, 5 operators won 485 MHz in the 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2600 MHz bands, the radio frequencies suitable for broadband voice mobile communications and Internet.
The licence fees totalise €682,136,036.
ANCOM presented in detail in the Terms of Reference the minimum coverage requirements which range in keeping with the bands won, the previous existence on the Romanian market and granting of access for the mobile virtual network operators (MVNO).
The spectrum resources available to the mobile operators grew by 77%, allowing for introducing the 4G technology, whereas the 900 MHz band is more efficiently distributed. For operators, the results of the auction open the door to additional business opportunities and innovation, ensure the security of investments and an exceptional efficiency as regards the use of spectrum. For users, the auction brings access to 4 national networks, better coverage, higher data transfer speeds, more and better services provided at competitive prices, in general, all this in the context of a healthy competition.
Three of the spectrum winners have undertaken the obligation to host MVNOs, and, for the first time in Romania, the operators that cover 30% of the population with their own radio access network may benefit from national roaming for at least three years. Following this auction, 676 rural localities currently underserved with broadband mobile communications networks are to benefit with priority from coverage with HSPA, HSPA+ or LTE networks.