According to Vladimir Goncharenko, Minister for Communications and Computerization, several foreign companies have expressed an interest in bidding for the country’s third GSM-900/1800 mobile licence. Four unnamed international concerns have already paid EUR5,000 each to purchase tender documents allowing them to bid and a further two have applied for bidding rules. The tender was announced on 30 June this year and the deadline for applications is 21 September 2004. The third licence will initially be valid for five years, although this could be extended by a further five. One of the main stipulations of the licence calls for the creation of a joint venture with unitary enterprise Minsk City Telephone Network, with Belarus holding a majority 51% stake.