Regulator reports three new mobile licence bidders

17 Jul 2006

The Telecommunications Office of the Slovak Republic (TU SR) has reported that it has received three bids for a third national mobile operating licence. The regulator has not yet named the interested companies, although Telekom Austria previously announced that its mobile arm mobilkom is taking part, and Slovak economic daily SME recently speculated that Vodafone and Telefónica are likely bidders. The combined GSM/UMTS licence is to be awarded via a beauty contest procedure scheduled to be completed by the end of July.

TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database notes that the government launched an international tender on 1 June with a starting price for the concession set at USD3.7 million. Slovakia’s cellular market is currently a duopoly of Orange Slovensko and T-Mobile Slovensko — controlled by France Télécom and Deutsche Telekom respectively. The new tender is the third attempt by the state to introduce a third mobile provider; the first was cancelled in 1999 after failing to attract any bids and the second collapsed in 2002 when a bidder failed to pay the licence fee.