Anacom has approved the renewal of DUF, until April 2033, in the 900 MHz and 1,800 MHz bands assigned to Meo (Altice Portugal) and Vodafone Portugal.

"This renewal of the rights of use of frequencies is accompanied by the imposition of additional obligations of coverage of 100 parishes of low population density, in which these providers will have to provide a mobile broadband service with speed of 100 Mbps, covering at least 90 percent of the population," says the regulator in a statement.

The entity stresses that given that "investments made by operators have not equally favoured the different areas of the country, it is considered essential to maintain the coverage goals for territories with lower population density”.

The regulator led by João Cadete de Matos explains that "as a set of parishes of low population density are already included in the obligations of the 5G auction regulation, the 100 parishes of lower population density that are not included in that regulation have now been identified".

Of these 100 parishes, MEO "will have to ensure the coverage of 56 and Vodafone will have to cover 44 parishes", explains the regulator, explaining that the difference in the number "is related to the amount of spectrum assigned to each of these operators".

This decision is now submitted to a prior hearing and public consultation for a period of 20 working days.

According to Anacom, this decision "ensures the regulatory objectives that Anacom is responsible for pursuing, namely to ensure the effective and efficient use of the spectrum, to promote competition in retail markets, to encourage investment and to avoid disturbances in the continuity of the provision of communications services".

The regulator "believes that attaching new obligations to the rights of use of frequencies is an important mechanism for mitigating and removing deficiencies identified in terms of coverage and capacity provided in mobile networks, promoting economic and social cohesion in the national territory".