Back in June 2003, the Portuguese regulatory authority ANACOM held a public consultation on the way forward for fixed wireless access (FWA). This consultation was triggered by the fact that the roll-out of base stations by the operators licensed in 1999 has fallen well short of the applicable obligations.
ANACOM has now reached a number of important conclusions, and is putting forward a set of proposed modifications to the regulatory framework applicable to FWA. Interested parties are invited to comment on these proposed modifications by 1 June 2004.
The key proposed modifications are summarised hereafter.
- Putting an end to the existing licensing system for FWA, in particular in terms of geographical coverage requirements, withdrawing the right of use of frequencies where operators have not exercised their right to use those frequencies, and defining 9 geographical zones.
- Ensuring that all existing operators can continue to operate the base stations they have effectively put in service (8 operators are in this situation).
- Consider the possibility of granting new rights of use to operators requiring FWA frequencies (existing operators and new operators).
- Introducing equality of treatment between all operators, i.e. allowing the fixed incumbent operator Portugal Telecom to make use of FWA without the special restrictions which currently apply.
- Allowing the use of FWA frequencies for the core transmission network (in addition to the access network).
- Modification of the frequency fee system (radioelectric taxes), resulting in a reduction of the financial burden for operators, and with a weighting system depending on the geographical zone.
T-REGS Note: In Portugal, FWA systems operate in the 3 GHz band (3400-3800 MHz), in the 24 GHz band, and in the 28 GHz band.