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Chiritoiu: Afraid Gov't will be tempted to see 5G as cash cow; I hope we can resist temptation

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Bogdan Chiritoiu

President of the Competition Council Bogdan Chiritoiu told a specialist video conference on Tuesday that the economic situation is difficult, as it has always been, and voiced his fears that the government will be tempted to see the 5G technology as a cash cow.

"The economic situation is difficult, but it has always been difficult. There have not been times in Romania when we could say 'Oh, look how well we are doing and how much money we have!' You never realize: when you are doing well you don't say that you are doing well. I recall we've been whining about money in previous years, too. We'll certainly whine in the future. I'm afraid the government will be tempted to see the 5G technology as a cash cow, which, let's be honest, the government already intended last year. I hope we can resist this temptation, because the main goal is not to bring in a lot of money, but to have good services that are at an affordable price for consumers just to support the development of applications, to use the new technology as much as possible in our economy. I see here a tension between the goal of having as much budget revenue as possible and the goal of using 5G to develop the economy as a whole," said Chiritoiu.

The president of the Competition authority also pointed out that, in terms of 5G technology, it is very important that there is strong competition between operators on the market, so that the both the quality of services and prices are good.

"I'm glad we have a similar analysis [in relation to the 4G technology, ed.n.] and we are somehow slaves to success. When you have done something that you think went well, you tend to repeat and it is through this perspective that I see things in relation to 5G. I live with the impression that things went very well with 4G and they went very well because at the time, the National Authority for Management and Regulation in Communications and us managed to create the framework to have four players in the market and the emergence of the fourth boosted competition and led to lower prices for consumers and a good quality of services. I would somehow like to replicate this success in 5G. Let's see what the framework will look like. As concerns 5G, there are security issues that were non-existent in the case of 4G. We will see what the tender will look like for 5G, what the constraints outside the market are, what the technical elements, other considerations that we will have to pay attention to are. I would like to make sure that we will have a strong competition in the market between the operators, so that we have good quality services and good prices," explained Bogdan Chiritoiu.

He added that attention will also be needed as regards the operators' investment effort in 5G technology.

The National Authority for Administration and Regulation in Communications (ANCOM) announced, on March 2, 2020 that by the end of the third quarter of this year, it intends to finalize the tender documentation for 5G frequencies, and the organization of the selection procedure for the grant of rights to use the radio spectrum available in the frequency bands of 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 1500 MHz, 2600 MHz, 3400-3600 MHz (5G) for the provision of public networks and broadband electronic communications services is scheduled for the last quarter of 2020.

Official estimates show that 5G technology is expected to generate 225 billion euros in revenue worldwide in 2025.

Bursa Press Group is organizing on Tuesday the video conference on "Romania's Digitalization and 5G technology".

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