The executive chairman of Vodafone Portugal, Mário Vaz, today asked the parliamentary economy committee to oversee the 5G auction regulation and prevent the Anacom regulator from becoming a fourth “legislative-administrative” power.
Mário Vaz was speaking at the parliamentary committee on Economy, Innovation, Public Works and Housing, at a hearing on the process of fifth generation technology.
“What I ask this committee to do is inspect this regulation, scrutinize the fulfillment of the mission of the National Communications Authority, assess whether it is strictly independent in the exercise of its powers,” said the manager, who reiterated that the auction regulation is discriminatory for historic telecommunications operators.
“Without prejudice to its nature as an independent administrative entity, Anacom cannot continue to create its own laws, preventing its conversion into a fourth power, a power that could be called legislative-administrative”, continued Mário Vaz.
“We are facing a critical situation in which the conditions for assigning frequencies will have a totally opposite effect to that advocated by the National Strategy for 5G”, pointed out the executive president of Vodafone Portugal, stressing that “this is the last opportunity to reverse national apathy “in this scope.
“This is the moment to act in conformity with the public interest” and “the ultimate to stop this illegal process”, underlined Mário Vaz.
The manager criticized, once again, the discrimination in the auction rules, between new entrants and historic operators.
He referred that the regulation “goes beyond what is the strategy of the Resolution of the Council of Ministers on 5G, and changes” the competitive dynamics “by” promoting entry in a discriminatory way “, which” is structural and that is not the role of the regulator “.
This regulation, he reiterated, discourages investment.
“If there is no incentive for investment, we will be left behind,” said the president of the operator, recalling the position of the Vodafone group on the 5G auction in Portugal.
Considering that 5G is an opportunity, he argued that for this to happen, “investment is necessary”.
Now, Portugal has “conditions to compete in this new Era, so there are conditions for investment”, he said, in response to the deputies.
On Monday, at the same committee, the executive president of NOS, Miguel Almeida, asked deputies to carry out the abstract inspection of the 5G auction regulation, which he said had several unconstitutionalities.
“An administrative authority has to be politically neutral and cannot make economic policy decisions,” said Miguel Almeida, a criticism, accusing the regulation of containing unconstitutional measures, based on the opinions of several constitutionalists: Paulo Otera, Vital Moreira and Jorge Miranda.
Asked today by Lusa about the reason for not having an Altice Portugal hearing on the subject, an official source of the owner of Meo said that the company does not have much more to add about 5G, unless there are changes in posture and rules.
“Given the continuation of the scenario of no dialogue, as well as Anacom’s constant inflexibility [Autoridade Nacional de Comunicações], now duly supported by the tutelage of the sector, we believe that we have already said publicly, and in the relevant forums, those that are our concerns, our indignation, as well as the likely results of this whole process and its devastating consequences “, he added.
Thus, “we consider that we do not have much more to add, unless there is a significant change in terms of postures or the rules of the auction,” said the same source.
“For now, lamenting this whole situation, the serious impacts for Portugal and the sector and, lamenting our country’s inability to adapt its reality to the global reality with regard to 5G, we will wait for this process to proceed and act accordingly. , as already announced, regardless of what the consequences of these actions will be “, concluded an official source.
The 5G auction process is marked by the ‘war’ between operators and the regulator Anacom, which led to complaints to Brussels, court cases, including precautionary measures, and divestment announcements in Portugal.
If, on the one hand, the president of Anacom, João Cadete de Matos, considers that the regulation of the 5G auction presents “a set of balanced conditions” and expects that the allocation of licenses allows an “improvement” in the sector’s competition, operators disagree and have already taken precautionary measures against the rules and against Dense Air’s license (which they consider illegal).
The operators defend the recovery of the license of Dense Air, whose spectrum is essential in 5G, which they accuse in ten years of never having launched any commercial service in Portugal.
Historical operators claim that the auction rules are “illegal and unacceptable”, criticize national roaming obligations and accuse Anacom of jeopardizing the sector’s sustainability.