Unconfirmed report claims Macedonia’s 4G tender attracts three bids

26 Jun 2013

Macedonia’s regulator the Agency for Electronic Communications (AEC) has reportedly received three bids – from incumbent cellcos T-Mobile, VIP Operator and ONE – for licences to offer 4G mobile services in the country. Telecompaper claims that each operator submitted bids with an initial value of EUR10 million (USD13.1 million) for the concessions, which are expected to be officially awarded on 10 July.

TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database reports that in May this year, the AEC announced a public auction (No.0204-1550/2) for national mobile service licences in the 790MHz-862MHz and 1710MHz-1880MHz spectrum ranges, aimed at providing 4G LTE mobile broadband services. The 20-year licences are open to domestic and foreign companies, and will be valid from 1 September 2013 until 31 August 2033 with the prospect of extension. In order to qualify, interested parties have to already provide mobile services to at least 300,000 subscribers (as of 31 December 2012) and have combined revenues generated from telecommunication activities of EUR10 million (USD12.97 million) in 2011 and 2012. The winners of the beauty contest will have to provide the regulator with a six-year timetable plan within 45 days of bid approval. Under the licence requirements, the operators should offer mobile service to 20% of the population in two years after the licence issue date; in four years the coverage should reach 40% and in six years – 70% of the population.

All interested companies were required to submit their bids within 45 days of the publication of the announcement in the Official Gazette. The AEC’s main criteria for determining the winning bids is said to be based on the economic value of the offers. The official opening of the envelopes took place on 24 June. The spectrum blocks on offer are as follows:

A: 791-801/832-842MHz (2×10MHz) and 1740-1755/1835-1850MHz (2×15MHz);

B: 801-811/842-852MHz (2×10MHz) and 1755-1770/1850-1865 MHz (2×15MHz); and

C: 811-821/852-862MHz (2×10 MHz) and 1770-1785/1865-1880MHz (2×15MHz).

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