PCP proposes to cancel 5G auction and create a public telecommunications operator

PCP considers that 5G represents an opportunity to create “a public and universal telecommunications service in Portugal”. For this reason, it proposes “a strategic change in the development of the telecommunications sector”.

The Portuguese Communist Party (PCP) argues that before the implementation of the fifth generation of the mobile network (5G), in Portugal, “it is of the most elementary caution” that the Assembly of the Republic (AR) takes stock of the current regime of spectrum usage of frequencies “which is in the public domain of the State” and, therefore, presented a draft resolution with six specific recommendations, including the cancellation of the 5G auction and the “reconstruction” of a public telecommunications company.

The PCP argues that 5G represents an opportunity to create “a public and universal telecommunications service in Portugal”. For this reason, in the draft resolution delivered to the HR at the end of July, the communist parliamentary group proposes "a strategic change in the development of the telecommunications sector".

To initiate this strategic change, proposing as a pillar of a new strategy the control of the frequency spectrum by the State, the PCP defends the “reconstruction” of a public telecommunications company, whose operation and services is integrated in a “public service telecommunications, which guarantees a quality and affordable offer in telephone, electronic and television communications ”. The PCP understands that access to communications should not be dependent on “an alleged competitive market dominated by an oligopoly of multinationals”.

Therefore, in defending the creation of a public telecommunications operator and a public telecommunications service, communists also defend the cancellation of the auction for the allocation of rights to use 5G frequencies, since the public management and exploitation of the spectrum frequencies would pass to that public telecommunications service.

Only “when necessary and if necessary” would “partnerships with the private sector be developed, but without giving them control and management of the networks” that underpin telecommunications in Portugal.

In its draft resolution, the PCP parliamentary group proposes to Parliament the development of a “universal electronic communications service”, within the scope of the implementation of 5G in the country. This universal service would have the purpose of “price reduction and, within two years, the total coverage of the national population for mobile voice communications and the coverage of the mobile broadband service at 100 Mbps for 98% of the national territory, covering the entire national rail network and road IP ”.

The communist recommendation also aims to prevent the "constitution of a private monopoly in the control of the networks of broadcasters and base stations, currently underway". At this point, the PCP refers to the entry of the Spanish Cellnex in the Portuguese market. The communists argue that the acquisition of OMTEL and NOS Towering and their respective telecommunications towers - essential to the development of 5G - by the Spanish telecommunications infrastructure management group is “a concentration in a private monopoly”, with implications for the future telecommunications in Portugal.

As an alternative to the acquisitions already made by the Spanish company, PCP proposes the consolidation "in the public operator the management and development" of 5G, "alongside fiber optic networks, submarine cables and other critical systems, with the involvement of the current IP Telecom ”.

Also criticizing the Government's rejection of the recommendations of the Autoridade Nacional de Comunicações (Anacom) and Autoridade da Concorrência (AdC), the communist group proposes that the AR “promote maximum national incorporation in the development and application of the technologies to be adopted in the introduction process 5G systems, with the participation and involvement of the National Scientific and Technological System, as well as national companies ”.

The draft resolution of the PCP was signed by deputies Bruno Dias, António Filipe, Paula Santos, Duarte Alves, Vera Prata, Ana Mesquita, Diana Ferreira, Alma Rivera and João Dias.

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