Published: 07.46 Europe/London, March 28, 2011

Romania’s transition to digital broadcasting looks as though may be back on track, with DTT licences likely to be awarded this summer.

Quoted in Financiarul, Catalin Marinescu, the president of the National Authority for Management and Regulation in Communications of Romania (ANCOM), said that postponing the ASO date by three years in late 2010 had in his view been a mistake.

The surprising and indeed controversial decision had stopped a tender taking place at that time dead in its tracks. It had attracted interest from seven parties – RCS&RDS, Romtelecom, TDF SAS, SNR, Media Sat, ORF and General Satellite Sofia – and that same degree of interest may now not exist.

Significantly, all the DTT licences will be auctioned at the same time rather than separately, as had been the case before.

The proposed starting price for each licence will be €0.5 million, though in Marinescu’s view bidders are likely to offer over €2.5 million if they are very keen on one.

Marinescu also said the selection procedure will be competitive rather than comparative (i.e a beauty contest), as had previously been the case.

Earlier this month the Romanian government said it would like to get the country’s transition to digital broadcasting back on track by awarding six multiplex licences.