Syriatel fails in Croatian licence bid

19 Jul 2005

Croatia’s Telecommunications Council (TC) has rejected the sole bid for the country’s fourth GSM licence because the Syrian-led consortium did not meet its minimum requirements. The regulator began the international tender for the concession in May, just four months after licensing the market’s third operator. Unlike the three combined GSM-UMTS licences issued before it, the 20-year concession was solely for the provision of GSM services. The Syriatel-led AdriaCella consortium met the starting price of HRK105 million (USD18.4 million), but failed to win over the TC with its business plan, which included investments of between USD90 million and USD121 million in its first 18 months, and a target of 15-20% market share. The TC has not said whether it will re-launch the tender. ‘We are disappointed,’ a Syriatel official told Reuters. ‘For us, the offer was very serious; we are serious investors. I don’t really understand what happened, but Croatia also lost from this.’

Croatia, SyriaTel