Globul, the Bulgarian arm of Greek cellco Cosmote, has announced the launch of its 3G network, with immediate coverage of 25% of the population. The new network has coverage of Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna and Burgas; the company hopes to achieve 33% coverage by the end of October 2006. All post-paid Globul users with 3G-enabled handsets are now able to make video calls at a regular cost of BGN0.59 (USD0.38) per minute; promotional offers will reduce the cost by 50% until the end of the year.
Globul was awarded its 3G concession by the Bulagrian telecoms regulator on 27 April 2005; it later chose Ericsson and Huawei to install the W-CDMA-based network. Globul is the second Bulgarian operator to launch 3G services, behind Telekom Austria’s MobilTel which launched in March. Vivatel, the mobile operator owned by the fixed line incumbent BTC, is expected to launch 3G services next year.