As the government adopted the 5G Strategy for Romania, such technology will bring Internet speeds up to 20 times faster. The adoption of this strategy places Romania alongside 12 other countries that have already launched 5G strategies, including Austria, Denmark, France, Germany and Italy.
Therefore, Constanta will develop the very first intelligent harbor and major European HUB at the Black Sea, interconnecting East and West, to including the real down to earth Silk Road, Sinop, Middle East, Crimeea, Ukraine and so on, balancing a new endeavor of the new strategic energy and financing markets and players.
The Government is aiming at launching services in 2020 and 5G coverage of all urban centers and main land transport routes by 2025. By implementing this strategy, Romania will catalyze the economic and social developments induced by technology, will develop the human capital, expecting the creation of over 250,000 jobs and a multiplication effect of the integration of the new technologies in the economic life of over 4, 7 billion euros, thus contributing to the EU’s goal of becoming a global leader in 5G technology.
The Government is proposing an ambitious program for the implementation of the new generation of technologies in mobile communications, through the adoption of the 5G Strategy for Romania and the projection of the next decades of evolution in the field of communications. The new generation of mobile technology, 5G, will create a connectivity environment much higher than the 4G generation and will significantly contribute to inclusion and increase productivity in the economy.
5G will unleash a real industrial revolution and an opportunity to reduce development gaps in Romania. Studies show that the implementation of 5G in the Romanian economy will generate big revenues and will increase the turnover of smart industries from USD 3.7 billion in 2020 to USD 9 billion in 2026, aiming that all urban centres will be modernized: motorways and railways, international ports and airports should benefit from 5G coverage, by 2025. Moreover, in order to maximize social and economic benefits, the Government of Romania intends to launch 7 strategic pilot projects distributed throughout the country, as a Fuel the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The strategic objectives proposed in the government documents are the timely launch of services (in 2020) in several representative Romanian cities, chosen by socio-economic criteria, in the context that additional spectrum resources will be made available to operators next year, and catalysing the 5G benefits, by ensuring 5G coverage in all functional urban centres, modernized motorways and railways, international ports and airports and industrial parks across the country. Other objectives include stimulating the deployment of 5G networks, through simplified regulations for building new physical infrastructure, transposing the European Electronic Communications Code, and promoting new uses and fostering cooperation by activating the 5G Alliance, the implementation of European and international technical standards and the harmonized use of radio frequencies in Europe.
For the achievement of these objectives, the 5G Strategy also provides priority action lines i.e. adapting infrastructure to the 5G technology, organizing the auction for awarding the rights of use in the frequency bands that are best suited for first commercial development, reaping the 5G benefits for public safety, and security, by improving the quality of public emergency response services and implementing 7 pilot projects distributed across the country to maximize socio-economic benefits.
The strategy was elaborated within an inter-institutional working group coordinated by the Ministry of Communications and Information Society and ANCOM, which included representatives of the ministries, of public administration institutions and of the national defence, public order and national security system. Representatives of associations of county councils, municipalities, towns and communes also contributed in drafting the document.
Romanian electronic communications market
According to the preliminary statistical data analysed by ANCOM, as regards mobile telephony, on 30 June 2018, there were 22.2 million users, with a penetration rate of SIM cards per 100 inhabitants of 113.7 %. In the first half of this year, Romanians used 33.2 billion call minutes (3% less than in the previous semester) and sent 6.8 billion SMS (12.5% less than in the previous reporting period). MMS, as well as 3G video traffic, witnessed the same downward trend, decreasing by 12%, respectively by 0.8%.
Traditional voice and SMS services have already achieved their growth potential, and are increasingly replaced by instant messaging and voice services, by Internet 2.0. High-speed internet connections have reached 85% of all the internet connections. Counting by number of inhabitants, mobile internet traffic increased by approximately 45% in the first half of 2018, up to 2.3 GB/month. In order to continue such growth rates in the long run, on mobile internet, we need 5G. This is also a perfect opportunity for the leap in competitiveness by engendering new business models and innovative uses, in communications as well as in other sectors, according to the leadership of ANCOM, subsequent to the innovators files.
Awarding spectrum resources that are best suited for 5G in Romania
In next year’s spectrum auction, ANCOM will make available 605 MHz for the timely implementation of new 5G technologies in Romania. Currently, Romanian communications operators use a total amount of spectrum of 770 MHz; nevertheless, in providing speeds up to 20 times higher than 4G ones, more spectrum is needed, according to the Romanian operators strategy.
ANCOM’s International Support
The 5G Strategy for Romania brought together policy makers, representatives of regulatory authorities, content providers and innovators, the best international network operators, equipment manufacturers and academia, during the National Programmme Implementation as well as regulatory political and regulatory Overseas framework in Romania, with a focus on actions and examples of good practice adopted at European and international level for the successful carrying out of the 5G vision.
Exclusive showcases , to including the special and exclusive hi tech equipment manufacturers will present the first prototypes of 5G-enabled equipment, such as 5G transmission equipment or Virtual Reality technologies.
Romania’s broadband plan focuses on building up a national broadband network as a first step towards achieving the targets set by the Digital Agenda for Europe.
The National Strategy for Romanian Digital Agenda 2020 represents Romania’s broadband strategy. The authorities intend to update the plan to reflect the Gigabit Society targets. Broadband and digital services infrastructure is one of the four action fields defined in the strategy. The Romanian Strategy aims at achieving coverage of 100% of households with fixed broadband by 2020, 80% of households with access to over 30 Mbps broadband and 45% of households with subscriptions over 100 Mbps. The National Plan for Next Generation Network infrastructure development states the same and opts for prioritising the development of fibre networks as close to the end user as possible.
National broadband plan and policy
• Romania’s broadband plan is implemented by the Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure and Communications (Ministerul Transporturilor, Infrastructurii si Comunicatiilor).
• The National Authority for Management and Regulation in Communications (Autoritatea Naţională pentru Administrare şi Reglementare în Comunicaţii, ANCOM) is responsible for regulatory measures.
Main aims for broadband development
Special regard is given to rural and disadvantaged areas, to the stimulation of competition and to the promotion of the development of mobile broadband as the proper solution for Romania, considering the intense progress of mobile telephony market. The broadband plan has a number of specific objectives such as:
• connecting public institutions (public demand aggregation),
• increased use in public,
• supporting SMEs in training, configuring and implementing infrastructure projects and services,
• increasing accessibility of services, content and applications development,
• consumer education, and
• inclusion of disadvantaged groups of users.
The long term NGA aims are 100% coverage with 30 Mbps, 80% coverage with more than 30 Mbps and 45% households’ penetration with 100 Mbps by 2020.
Main measures for broadband development
• In July 2016, Romania notified the European Commission of the measures it had taken to transpose the Cost Reduction Directive into national law, specifically through law No 159/2016 on the regime of physical infrastructure for electronic communications networks and laying down measures to reduce the cost of deploying electronic communications networks.
National and regional broadband financial instruments
• State Aid (General Activities): Romania has launched the Ro-NET project, which uses structural funds (approximately EUR 69 million) to build up broadband infrastructure in areas still uncovered (middle mile funding). The direct beneficiary and recipient of the all grants of state aid is the Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure and Communications through a project implementation unit, which will remain the owner of the newly created backhaul infrastructure. By the end of September 2019, works were completed in 606 localities, while an additional 82 localities are in an advanced stage of completion.
Data on broadband development and technologies in Romania
For the latest data on broadband coverage, subscriptions and penetrations, coverage of different broadband technologies and costs check the scoreboard reports and the country reports of the Digital Economy & Society Index (DESI).
Spectrum assignments for wireless broadband
For details on harmonised spectrum assignments consult the study on spectrum assignments in the EU.
National publications and press documents
• National Strategy on the Digital Agenda for Romania 2020
• National Broadband Plan 2009-2015
• Study on National Broadband Plans in the EU-28
• Guide to High-Speed Broadband Investment
• Fixed Broadband Prices in Europe 2018
• Study on broadband coverage in Europe 2018
• Romania – country reports on performances in digitisation: connectivity, digital skills, digital public services and more
First communication group will launch the commercial network 5G strategies in Romania. Initial deployment will take place in Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca and Iasi, with further cities to follow in 2020-2021.
The 5G network will offer customers internet download speeds of up to 1.2Gbps and average download speeds of 600Mbps, as well as a complete package of premium services and devices designed to enhance the 5G experience for customers.
THE STRUGGLE AND THE 5G COMPETITION:
The USA – Europe – China – Romania
ROMANIA IS AN IMPORTANT NATO ALLY, and having a strategic partnership with the USA.
This is the KEY Element for such 5G communication program.
According to the official statement of the Delegate Chief Executive Officer, Finance, Performance and Europe ORANGE:
Romania has always been advanced on innovation so the environment here was positive for launching 5G. For instance, the Google Rich Communications Suite was launched here first; at group level, the embedded SIM launched here first. The ICT sector in Romania is bigger than other European countries – it accounts for over 6% of GDP. All of this creates a good environment which was the trigger for the launch decision.
Spectrum availability is a critical asset for 5G. We have a very strong position on the critical band of 3.4-3.6GHz – we have 115MHz, which is more than double what our competitors have in this country. You cannot offer 5G if you don’t have this strength.
We are taking an approach of open ecosystem; we invite industrial partners, vendors and start-ups to test and co-develop future mobility and connectivity services with us. We’ve co-developed several commercial services with start-ups that we are now offering to municipalities and public authorities.
The Romanian team is very active; on 5G, we are participating in consultancy for projects on security and network slicing. We have co-developed and implemented a number of new services – the Romanian market will not allow for overpricing, so we are obliged to innovate and create solutions and services that are feasible in terms of the country’s salaries and economics.
Recently, the Romanian Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure and Communications (MTIC) initiated public debate on a draft law on measures to be adopted relating to information and communication infrastructure of a national interest and the conditions for implementing 5G networks.
The draft law includes the requirement that authorisation will be necessary for all manufacturers of technology, equipment and software used in information and communication infrastructure with a national interest or in electronic communications networks through which 5G services are provided.
An applicant must file the request with the MTIC, which will forward it to the Supreme Council of National Defence (CSAT). The Prime Minister will grant authorisation on the recommendation of CSAT, which will issue an opinion within a maximum of four months from the filing of a request.
Each applicant must submit information on its shareholding structure and its corporate group, including detailed information on any parent company. Also, the applicant must file a statement on its liability, affirming that it is not under the control of a foreign government lacking an independent legal system.
In order to issue a favourable opinion, CSAT will assess the risks, threats and vulnerabilities to national security and defence that an applicant’s technology could present. The draft law goes further, explicitly enabling CSAT to consider Romania’s obligations under international cooperation and any bilateral strategic partnerships. (One such bilateral strategic partnership is Romania’s 20 August 2020 Memorandum on 5G with the US).
The draft law requires providers of electronic communications networks and services to use only technologies, equipment and software in 5G networks made available by authorised manufacturers, a requirement that will be checked by the National Authority for Administration and Regulation in Communications (ANCOM).
In regard to manufacturers of technologies used in 5G communications that do not have authorisation at the date of entry into force of the law, the draft law allows them to continue using this technology for a maximum of five years.
Failure by electronic communication network and service providers to use only technologies, equipment and software in 5G networks made available by authorised manufacturers can result in fines of between 1% and 5% of turnover. The same fine will be enforced against existing manufacturers that fail to obtain authorisation after the expiry of the above-mentioned five–year grace term.
Finally, the providers of electronic communications networks and services that do not provide information requested by ANCOM regarding any of their technologies and equipment can receive fines of between 3% and 10% of their turnover. According to the Draft Law, the previous year’s turnover of the respective economic operator will apply.
Pictures: The state secretary minister of economy in Romania, Mr. Liviu Rogojinaru, the President of the National Agency for the Environment Protection, Mr. Eugen Cozma, the state secretary minister of communication, Mr. Dragos Preda and Dr. Sorin Dobircianu, sr. expert NATO government.