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Regulator offers 3G licence to Renberg Investments after auction winner fails to pay

15 Dec 2006

The Estonian National Communications Board (ENCB) has cancelled its plans to issue the country’s fourth UMTS operating licence to domestic private equity firm Grosson Capital and has instead offered it to the second-highest bidder in last month’s auction, after the winner failed to pay for the concession by its deadline. Grosson Capital won the auction with a bid of EEK100.1 million (USD8.1 million), EEK7 million more than that offered by second placed Renberg Investments; RealGroup Systems and ProGroup Holding also submitted bids. The ENCB has now offered the licence to Renberg Investments for EEK93 million. 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.


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