5G regulation and law in Romania

Information current as of 16 January 2020

What is the state of 5G deployment in Romania?

In December 2019, the National Authority for Administration and Regulation in Communications (ANCOM) launched public consultations for its 2020 action plan, which has a focus to complete the tender for granting rights to use the frequency bands for the provision of 5G communications in early 2020.

Even though the first 5G networks and services were expected to be available in Romania as early as 2020, the Romanian President recently noted that no state policy has yet been agreed with respect to 5G implementation. Additionally, the President mentioned it is not advisable to go ahead with the 5G implementation since the providers are not yet technologically ready (according to the President, the only company who seems to be sufficiently prepared from a technology point of view is Huawei).

Which telcos and communications players are launching 5G services?

The two main chip, smartphone and telecom operators who are expected to launch their first 5G-based products are:

  • Orange, who continue to invest in the implementation of 5G technology; and
  • Digi RCS & RDS, who updated its 5G coverage map with its new offerings, confirming that more areas are going to be covered by its very highspeed network in 2020.

Please see also the comment above regarding Huawei.

Are there any public tenders for spectrum licenses?

ANCOM’s plan is to complete the tender for granting rights to use the frequency bands for the provision of 5G communications in early 2020. However, we are not certain of how feasible such intentions are in practice.

Has there been any comment on when there might be?

ANCOM stated that the tender proceedings should be launched soon, but that there is a delay in doing so because of the following main reasons:

  • the need to implement the network security requirements;
  • the need to implement a memorandum of understanding signed by the Romanian and the US Governments (see below);
  • the need for the Romanian Government to draw up the 2020 state budget; and

the need for the Romanian Government to approve the 5G licence fees and the payment schedule.

What has the government said regarding spectrum licences for commercial use?

In August 2019, a memorandum of understanding (Memorandum) on 5G technology was signed by the Romanian and the US Governments. According to the Romanian Presidency, the Memorandum does not refer to a particular company but clarifies certain criteria relating to transparency and its compatibility with the rule of law.

The Romanian Presidency recently noted that no state policy was agreed with respect to 5G implementation and thus no further measures shall be taken by the Romanian Government. According to the Romanian Presidency, it is not advisable to go ahead with the 5G implementation, as there are currently few providers that would be able to participate in the tender proceedings.

Are the rules for 5G already drafted, and if so, what do they say?

ANCOM aims to publish all tender rules and requirements in early 2020.

What are or would be the rules for granting competitors access to the new 5G networks, once they are deployed?

There is no specific publicly available information in this regard.

Picture of Gabriel Sidere
Gabriel Sidere
Managing Partner
Bucharest