Romania’s multi-band 5G spectrum auctions have come to a close, with the three participants pledging a total of EUR432.6 million (US$448.3 million).
Orange Romania, RCS&RDS and Vodafone Romania collectively acquired 420MHz of frequencies across the 700MHz, 1500MHz, 2600MHz and 3400MHz-3800MHz bands – around 75.6% of the available spectrum.
Fourth player Telekom Romania Mobile Communications declined to participate in the auction. This has fuelled existing rumours that Deutsche Telekom – which indirectly controls the operator via Greece’s OTE Group – is planning to exit the Romanian market.
The combined spend falls well short of regulator ANCOM’s expected €700 million. Orange laid out the most, spending EUR264.61 million to obtain two blocks of 2×5MHz FDD spectrum in the 700MHz band, all eight available 5MHz blocks in the 1500MHz band, and sixteen 10MHz blocks in the 3400MHz-3800MHz band.
Orange Romania CEO Liudmila Climoc said: “We have made a significant investment to offer customers, the business environment, central and local administrations, but also researchers, an Orange network prepared for the challenges brought by the digital transformation of the next 25 years.”
Vodafone Romania acquired 2×5MHz of 700MHz FDD spectrum and ten blocks of 10MHz in the 3400MHz-3800MHz band for a total of EUR122.5 million, while RCS&RDS bagged four 2×5MHz blocks of 2600MHz FDD spectrum and five 10MHz blocks in the 3400MHz-3800MHz band for EUR45.5 million.
Licences in the 700MHz and 1500MHz bands are valid from 1st January 2023 for 25 years, reports CommsUpdate, while 2600MHz licences are valid from the same date until 5th April 2029. The validity of the 3400MHz-3800MHz frequencies begins on 1st January 2026 and lasts for 22 years.