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Public consultation on the 5G auction extended until April at the request of operators

After the migration process of the DTT network was suspended due to the constraints associated with COVID-19, Anacom extended the public consultation on the 5G auction, following the operators' request. With the deadline initially ending on March 25, the National Communications Authority decided to extend this period for another five working days, ending now on April 1, when the 5G auction should begin.

The draft auction regulation for the allocation of 5G licenses in Portugal was presented on February 10 and, through public consultation, operators have the possibility to present their considerations on the document. However, NOS, MEO and Vodafone asked the regulator for more time.

In the case of NOS, the request for an extension of 15 working days was made on February 26, claiming that, despite having an "extended and multidisciplinary team", it is a "complex process that requires time for reflection and of preparation ". "The company also claims that, given the impact that 5G has on the development and competitiveness of the sector and the country, it is essential that market agents have the time necessary to thoroughly analyze the auction's proposal for regulation and to properly prepare and mature the respective contributions ", can be read in the Anacom document.

Likewise, Vodafone Portugal also requested the extension of the same period, to March 3, this time for ten business days. In this case, the operator considered that the decision resulting from the public consultation on the 5G auction should be taken after the final decision on the alteration of the right of use of frequencies held by Dense Air, whose provisional decision by Anacom is also under public consultation until 25 March.

Justifying its request, Vodafone ensured that the documentation received regarding the 5G auction did not contain Anacom's fundamental justification note, a document that Vodafone deemed to be of crucial importance for understanding the proposed options. For this reason, the company made it known that it was not aware of the weighting of the costs and benefits of the measures planned under 5G.

However, Anacom rejected Vodafone Portugal's argument, referring explanations on the Dense Air case to the regulator's decision taken in December 2019, underlining that Vodafone's request lacks support.