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BeST applies for GSM licence

7 Mar 2005

Newly formed state-owned mobile operator Belarusian Network of Telecommunications (BeST) has applied to the Ministry of Communications and Information (MoC) for a GSM licence in the country. The regulator has said it will make a decision on the award within a month, although it has yet to reveal a price. BeST was formed in November 2004, after the MoC called off an auction for a GSM concession, revealing that it wanted to award the licence to a 100% state-owned entity. Fixed line incumbent Beltelecom owns a 25% stake in the cellco, while National Research Association (AGAT) holds the remaining 75%. BeST, which will compete with fellow GSM operators Mobile Digital Communications (Velcom) and Mobile TeleSystems LLC, and CDMA operator BelCel in the market, has pledged to invest USD150 million in the network rollout and hopes to have launched services by September 2005.


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