3G Mobile alerts rivals with hints of 3G licence sale
T-Mobile, Mobilkom Austria and 3 Austria are all keeping tabs on the movements of Telefónica Móviles’ Austrian subsidiary 3G Mobile, and are ready to pounce should the operator decide to sell its UMTS licence, according to local media reports. 3G Mobile paid EUR117 million for one of the six 20-year 3G licences granted by the Swiss government in an auction at the end of 2000, but failed to meet its 2002 launch date. The cellco is now mulling over whether to hand the licence back to the government, keep it – and pay a fine for failing meet its rollout obligations – or sell it on. 3G Mobile spokesperson Ingrid Rehrl was quoted by der Standard as saying ‘Spain has told us to get the most value for the licence’, indicating that the operator is likely to sell to the highest bidder.