Vodafone threatens to boycott 5G auction in Portugal

  • ECO News
  • 15 October 2020

In an interview with Reuters, Vodafone Cluster Europe CEO Serpil Timuray says he considers the model designed by the regulator Anacom for the 5G auction to be illegal.

Vodafone is considering not entering the auction of 5G frequency licences that the regulator Anacom is preparing and which should happen later this month. The company considers that the model has illegalities and therefore threatens to boycott the process, as explained by Vodafone Cluster Europe CEO, Serpil Timuray, in an interview to Reuters.

The regulator, who plans to relaunch the auction this month after several delays due to the coronavirus pandemic, has reserved a preferential spectrum of 900 MHz and 1,800 MHz for new players, with a 25% discount on the final price. Serpil Timuray told Reuters she is reconsidering taking part in the auction if the rules are kept unchanged.

“We believe this proposal spectrum design is illegal on both Portuguese and EU law,” said Timuray, explaining that new players would not have investment obligations in the country, a burden that would have to be shared by the companies that are already in the market, namely Altice, Vodafone and Nos. She also stressed that these three would have to share their infrastructure.

Vodafone, therefore, asked the European Commission to investigate the model. “There is significant and unjustified discrimination against long-standing operators and we are obliged to reconsider all of our options in Portugal, including bidding for less spectrum or not bidding, if the auction is so flawed,” Timuray told Reuters.