Ukraine’s state-owned fixed line incumbent Ukrtelecom has been handed a 3G licence without a tender, much to the annoyance of cellcos UMC and Kievstar. All three companies applied to the regulator for an UMTS concession earlier this year, but Ukrtelecom is the only operator to have been successful so far. UMC and Kievstar now say they will send an open letter to the country’s president, Viktor Yushchenko, claiming that the award of the licence without tender is illegal. Ukrtelecom will pay UAH152 million (USD30 million) for its 3G spectrum. It is thought that the state-owned telco was awarded its concession to make it more desirable to investors ahead of its planned privatisation.