Bulgaria high court rules 5G frequencies tender outcome illegal

Bulgaria’s Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) has ruled that the outcome of the tender to award frequencies for 5G broadband mobile services was illegal due to procedural breaches by the country’s telecoms regulator.

The high court upheld an earlier ruling by the Sofia District Administrative Court and its decision is final.

The courts ruled that the Communications Regulation Commission (CRC) breached the law in failing to hold public consultations before the tender, did not publish a justification for its decision how to award the frequencies and did not publish its decision in the State Gazette.

CRC awarded 5G frequencies to the three largest mobile carriers in the country – A1 Bulgaria, Yettel Bulgaria and Vivacom – in April 2021. The operators have already begun the rollout of 5G services, but the court’s decision effectively bans them from offering such services.

CRC said in a statement, quoted by local news website Mediapool that it was still analysing how to implement the court’s decision, “while taking into account the interests of consumers and the effective use of the spectrum” and would announce how it plans to proceed in the near future.

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