RNT awarded fourth mobile licence

23 Jan 2009

Rede Nacional de Telecomunicacoes (RNT), the only bidder in last year’s tender to become Portugal’s fourth mobile operator, has been officially awarded the 450MHz-470MHz spectrum licence by regulator Anacom. Portugal’s three existing cellular licensees – TMN, Vodafone and Optimus – were barred from the new auction, and although Zon Multimedia, AR Telecom, Cabovisao, Oni and CTT were rumoured to be interested, the tender failed to attract any other bidders when it closed in October 2008.

RNT is 85% owned by UK-based Telephony Holdings with Portugal’s Radiomovel holding the remaining 15%. Wireless Federation reports RNT is planning to invest EUR40 million in the new venture and launch operations by the end of 2009. The new operator is looking to attract 300,000 subscribers initially and ultimately plans to have national coverage.