Telenor's landline talks deadlocked

22 Feb 2010

Reuters reports that talks between Norwegian telecoms group Telenor and Serbian fixed line incumbent Telekom Srbija over the leasing of landline infrastructure, without which Telenor cannot operate, are deadlocked. ‘We have placed a standard offer, usual for other European countries, but Telekom Srbija wants more favourable terms and that is unacceptable for us,’ said Ana Davico, a Belgrade-based Telenor spokeswoman.

Serbia’s telecom regulator Ratel formally handed the nation’s second landline phone licence to Telenor last week, ending the decades-old monopoly of Telekom Srbija. Telenor purchased the ten-year renewable licence for EUR1.05 million (USD1.42 million) in January, in a tender that sought bidders with at least a 200 million euro turnover in 2009, and a million registered users. Although Ratel said Telenor’s offer was low, the government in Belgrade approved the deal and the Norwegian company pledged to lease Telekom Srbija’s infrastructure before developing its own fibre-optic network. Davico added, ‘We are now hoping that Ratel will act in line with its mandate and set the lease prices’.