State needs more time to study CosmoRom’s future

13 Jan 2005

Romania’s Communication Minister says the government needs more time to consider its alternatives as it attempts to revamp the ailing mobile phone operator CosmoRom. Zsolt Nagy says the government is considering several proposals for the future of the cellco, a wholly owned subsidiary of the fixed line company RomTelecom which is itself a joint venture between the state and the Greek telco OTE. OTE said last year that it is interested in taking control of CosmoRom and transferring management of the company to its own mobile subsidiary CosmOTE. CosmoRom, which has debts of EUR190 million, has seen its customer base fall from 85,000 in September 2003 to 50,000 twelve months later, while the country’s two main operators, Mobifon and Orange, have both pushed their customer bases from around three million to 4.7 million over the same period. A fourth operator, Zapp, had 220,000 subscribers by September 2004.