The Estonian National Communications Board (ENCB) has issued the country’s fourth UMTS operating licence to domestic private equity firm Grosson Capital. The company won with a bid of EEK100.1 million (USD8.1 million), EEK7 million more than was offered by Renberg Investments; RealGroup Systems and ProGroup Holding also submitted bids. The starting price for the auction of the concession was EEK70 million. The details of the licence have not yet been made available.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, the ENCB auctioned three UMTS licences in April 2003, after a series of delays. The country’s incumbent operators — Elisa (then Radiolinja Eesti), EMT and Tele2 Estonia — all submitted applications. Three months later EMT and Elisa were awarded concessions, and Tele2 received its licence in August. The three cellcos are required to cover 30% of the population by the end of 2010, providing mobile data services at speeds of at least 144kbps in urban areas and 64kbps in rural regions. The government originally planned to issue the fourth 3G licence in early 2004, but the tender ended in April with no bidders.