Romanian regulator sanctions operators for insufficient mobile voice coverage

ANCOM, the Romanian regulator, found non-compliance with network coverage obligations with all mobile operators in Romania. They imposed fines upon Orange, Vodafone, Telekom Mobile and RCS & RDS, totalling RON 1.61 million (EUR 337,000).

ANCOM performed the coverage measurements in the period from May to September 2019. The aim of the dedicated campaign was to verify operatorsā€™ compliance with their coverage obligations. All mobile network operators had an obligation to cover at least 98% of the population of Romania through their own networks. Orange, Vodafone and Telekom Mobile were supposed to fulfil this obligation by 5th April 2017. RCS & RDS’ obligation was due on 5th April 2019.

ANCOM verified coverage in approximately 13,400 locations, as a result of having driven over 246,000 km. As none of the operators reached the required coverage, ANCOM imposed penalties. Their amounts depend on the percentage of coverage reached by each operator. ANCOM will repeat the measurement campaign again this year and will continue, if necessary, to apply sanctions until the fulfilment of the obligations. All measurement results are available on http://www.aisemnal.ro, said Cristin Popa, executive director of ANCOM.

The measured population coverage percentages for mobile voice service reached by respective operators were as follows:

Orange Romania reached coverage of 97.81%, Vodafone Romania 97.76%, Telekom Romania Mobile Communications 96.53%. The least coverage had RCS & RDS with 95.42%. ANCOM sanctioned RCS & RDS with a fine of RON 800,000 (EUR 167,000). Also Telekom Mobile were fined a substantial RON 700,000 (EUR 146,000). Finally, Vodafone with RON 60,000 (EUR 13,000) and Orange with RON 50,000 (EUR 10,000) had to pay substantially less, since the difference between imposed obligation and the current coverage was less than 1 percentage point.

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