Auction for wireless licences attracts interest

7 Oct 2005

The forthcoming auction of two 2×21MHz ‘Class A’ point-to-multipoint licences and three 2×10.5MHz ‘Class B’ national wireless permits in Bulgaria has drawn interest from local telcos and major equipment manufacturers, according to the newspaper Dnevnik. Bulgaria will auction the ‘Class A’ permits on 11 October with bidding set to start at BGN1.344 million (USD828,801). Tender documents for the process have been requested by former state monopoly BTC, the country’s dominant mobile operator MobilTel, Nexcom Bulgaria, Trans Telecom, Cablenet and Carrier BG. The auction of ‘Class B’ concessions is scheduled to follow on 26 October with bidding opening at BGN672,000. The key players vying for the ten-year permits are believed to include MobilTel, BTC and telecom start-ups Nexcom Bulgaria, Orbitel, GiTy Bulgaria, Trans Telecom and Carrier BG. Several international equipment manufacturers, including Ericsson of Sweden and Nera Networks of Norway have publicly stated their interest in winning infrastructure contracts for the upcoming deployment of point-to-multipoint networks in Bulgaria.

In a separate story, the government of Bulgaria has reinstated Georgi Alexandrov as chief of the Communications Regulation Commission (CRC), for the third time, ousting his successor Gergana Sarbova in the process. Since the start of 2004 Alexandrov has been dismissed from his post three times, only to have the decision overturned each time by the courts. According to the cabinet’s press release, Alexandrov will now remain as head of the commission until the court comes up with a final ruling. The former government sacked Alexandrov on the grounds that he had violated the law which bans the CRC chief from participation in the management of company in the telecommunications business. Alexandrov is appealing.

Bulgaria, A1 Bulgaria (Mobiltel), Vivacom (BTC)