Macedonia to offer three more 3G licences

3 Sep 2008

The government of Macedonia is reportedly looking to license three more firms to offer 3G mobile services in the country in a bid to liberalise the market and stimulate competition. The Ministry of Transport says the tender process for the 3G awards will be prepared in the coming months with starting prices for each concession expected to be set at EUR10 million (USD14.5 million).

TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database reports that in January this year the Macedonian telecoms regulator, the Agency for Electronic Communications (AEC), awarded a 3G licence to domestic mobile operator Cosmofon following a tender it launched in November 2007. The licence again cost EUR10 million and will enable Cosmofon to deploy a UMTS network supporting data speeds of up to 3.6Mbps using HSDPA technology. At the time of the award, the operator’s parent Cosmote said its Macedonian unit had been allocated 2×15MHz plus 1×5MHz spectrum, although it is understood Cosmofon has yet to begin deploying any equipment.

In a separate development, the AEC has announced the introduction of mobile number portability (MNP) in the country, effective 1 September 2008. The advent of MNP, which affects Cosmofon, T-Mobile Macedonia and Mobilkom Macedonia (VIP Mobile), allows subscribers to change their service provider but retain their existing phone number and prefix. The move is also expected to boost competition.

North Macedonia, A1 Macedonia (formerly Vip), ONE (incl. on.net and Cosmofon), T-Mobile Macedonia