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Vodafone deplores postponement of Anacom’s Public Consultation on spectrum charges

Lisbon, 31 October 2006 – Vodafone has reiterated to Anacom its concern about the urgent need to review the methodologies for levying spectrum charges on Portuguese mobile operators. This concern has been recognised in the sector and mentioned in various opinions by the Regulator’s Consultative Council on the plan and budgets for recent years.

Comparative analyses conducted by Vodafone reveal that the costs it bears for use of the GSM spectrum, when compared with the costs borne by other operators, are excessive and substantially above the European average.

Applying the Indepen model developed by the UK regulator (Ofcom) to the Portuguese situation in terms of operators, we would arrive at an annual estimated cost to Vodafone of 2.8 million euros. This is considerably lower than the estimated amount payable to Anacom this financial year – 23 million euros.

These data demonstrate clearly that the spectrum tariff in Portugal is one of the highest in Europe – a situation that is all the more serious when we consider that the Portuguese market is one of the most competitive in Europe, with penetration rates, levels of innovation and introduction of services, retail prices and call termination charges that compare favourably with the European averages.

Vodafone considers that Anacom should not have two weightings and two measures, but should also in this case apply reasonable criteria that are compatible with best international practice, as it does in other cases such as call termination charges on mobile networks.

Vodafone is continuing to draw attention to this problem and alert Anacom to the need to take the necessary decisions to correct the situation as quickly as possible.