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IRIS 2018-5:1/29

Romania

Public consultation on the allotment of radio spectrum for terrestrial digital broadcasting

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Eugen Cojocariu

Radio Romania International

The Autoritatea Naţională pentru Administrare şi Reglementare în Comunicaţii (National Authority for Management and Regulation in Communications, ANCOM) launched a public consultation on 13 March 2018 to assess the market interest in acquiring rights of use for the available spectrum in the VHF and UHF band for terrestrial digital broadcasting services (see inter alia IRIS 2009-9/26, IRIS 2010-3/34, IRIS 2010-9/35, IRIS 2012-8/34, IRIS 2013-6/30, IRIS 2014-4/26, IRIS 2014-5/29, IRIS 2014-9/27, IRIS 2015-5/33, IRIS 2015-7/28, IRIS 2016-2/26, IRIS 2017-1/29, IRIS 2017-4/32).

The views expressed during this consultation - open until 11 April 2018 - will serve in defining ANCOM's decisions on awarding the rights of spectrum use for terrestrial digital broadcasting services.

Currently, in Romania, based on the technical approval issued by the Authority under Government Ordinance No. 21/2016, there are still public television networks’ analogue terrestrial television transmitters operating in the VHF band, which are to be turned off on 31 December 2019. Taking into account the provisions of the Geneva 2006 Agreement, these transmitters have not enjoyed protection from primary services in the band since 17 June 2015.

Since 2014, the DTT multiplex in the VHF band, together with the national and regional multiplexes in the UHF band, have been auctioned out in 4 successive selection procedures organised by the Authority, and so far, no operator has shown interest in acquiring the rights of use for it. Following the auctions organised by ANCOM between 2014 and 2017, one national licence and two other national licences, 13 regional licences and two local licences have been awarded in the UHF band. The total amount of licence fees was approximately EUR 1 190 000.

One national multiplex and several regional multiplexes have not been awarded in this band. Following ANCOM's international coordination actions, the regional multiplexes still available, together with those newly obtained, can make up a national multiplex. The Authority has developed a questionnaire addressed to all the providers interested in these multiplexes in order to find out their opinion on the manner and conditions for awarding the rights of use for these frequencies as well as the existing market players’ or potential new entrants’ intentions as regards their participation in a possible competitive selection procedure for allotting the available spectrum.

Interested parties are invited to express their views on how the VHF digital television multiplex should end up (whether it should keep its initial purpose - as a national DVB-T2 multiplex - or whether it should be transformed into four national T-DAB+ multiplexes). Moreover, representatives of industry ähave been consulted on the combination of multiplexes (one or several national DVB-T2 multiplexes, one or several national T-DAB+ multiplexes and several national multiplexes and/or regional multiplexes) to be auctioned; on the service coverage obligations for T-DAB+ and DVB-T2; and on the deadline for commissioning the networks and launching appropriate content.

References
The Consultare publica privind alocarea spectrului radio pentru servicii digitale terestre de radiodifuziune in Romania - comunicat 13.03.2018 RO
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=19044
 
  Public consultation on the allotment of radio spectrum for terrestrial digital broadcasting services in Romania - press release of 13 March 2018