Romania postpones 5G auction to 2020 over political, legal uncertainties

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Romania has announced it is postponing a 5G auction until next year amid political and legislative uncertainty.

Sorin Grindeanu, a former prime minister who heads the telecom market regulator ANCOM, said the auction was postponed until 2020 for three reasons.

He said the future government needs approve the 2020 budget which includes license fees and a payment schedule. Legislation also needs to be changed to apply the 5G Memorandum between Romania and the U.S. which concerns security and strategic partnerships.

The National Authority for Administration and Regulation in Communications also needs to include the European Commission’s measures related to network security requirements.

Lucian Bode, who’s been proposed as the new minister of communications,  also said there would be no 5G auction in 2019.

Romania’s Social Democrat government was toppled in a no-confidence vote on Oct. 10.

In July, the Social Democrats adopted an emergency ordinance to allow an auction of 5G by the end of 2019 which it said would bring investments and help the budget deficit.

5G technology is considered the next big thing for the telecommunication industry. Chinese company Huawei is among the few producers of equipment for the 5G network after investing in the last 10 years to develop the technology.

Huawei Romania was founded in 2003 and has grown to a company with 1,700 employees, most of whom work at the service center, and it has created 5,000 indirect jobs, said Liu Kai, Vice President at Huawei Romania, at Business Review’s Foreign Investors Summit. 

There are multiple benefits associated with 5G, Kai said such as an economic growth of 4.7 billion euros, an additional 250,000 new jobs and potentially more foreign investors, Kai claimed.

He said Huawei Romania contributed 230 million euros to Romania’s state budget as a leading IT&C supplier. 


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