Romania’s communications regulator ANCOM has kicked off the latest phase in the country’s tortuous path towards digital transition by submitting a draft decision and auction reference terms for two national DTT multiplexes for public consultation.
Earlier this year, ANCOM awarded licences for three multiplexes to the national transmission services group SNR, the first of which, to go on air next year, will carry the current public and private national channels. The remaining two muxes are set to begin operating by May 2017.
The latest consultation relates to two yet-to-be-awarded national muxes and 40 regional and 19 local muxes.
According to ANCOM, as with the auction organised in March-June, the new multiplexes will be awarded by a competitive selection, which requires that each bidder submit an initial bid, indicating the number of multiplexes it wishes to purchase. If the demand exceeds the number of available multiplexes, the auction may continue with additional rounds. For muxes where this is not the case, the winners will be designated based on the initial bid.
After the winners and the prices of all the wanted multiplexes have been established, the auction will continue by an allocation round through which the multiplexes will be awarded to the winning bidders based on the additional amounts they are willing to pay in order to acquire a certain frequency allocation.
The minimum licence fee for each of the two national multiplexes, is €300,000, while the minimum for the regional and the local multiplexes ranges between €12,000 for a regional multiplex in Bucharest down to €1,000 for certain local muxes.
Romania is one of the last European countries to achieve digital transition, with switch-off set to take place next year.