Cyprus’ largest alternative fixed line telco PrimeTel, which is controlled by holding company TeleDev East, has been revealed as the only company to submit a bid in the auction for the country’s third mobile licence, which will incorporate the 900MHz/1800MHz/2100MHz frequency bands. The Financial Mirror reports that the Cypriot government will now negotiate with PrimeTel over the authorisation of the concession, the cost of which was set at EUR12.3 million (USD16.69 million).
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, the Ministry announced the launch of the auction in early June 2013, with a deadline of 24 September 2013 for interested parties to submit their applications and a security of EUR700,000 (USD915,500). Under the terms set out by the document, the spectrum available for use was listed as follows:
• 2×10MHz blocks in the 900MHz band;
• 2×24.8MHz blocks in the 1800MHz band; and
• 2×15MHz paired blocks (frequency division duplex, FDD) in the 2100MHz band.
The MCW indicated that the 900MHz and 1800MHz frequencies are best suited for 2G GSM, 3G UMTS, 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) and WiMAX use. However, the regulator may allow the establishment and operation of communications networks not listed in the document, provided that such networks would not disrupt existing GSM transmissions.
Under the terms set out by the licence, PrimeTel is expected to establish and operate 3G and/or 4G networks covering 40% of the Republic’s territory within three years from the date of licence authorisations, and must reach 65% territorial coverage within five years from the date of their licence. Sources familiar with the matter previously claimed that PrimeTel will develop its own network of transmitters in order to secure national coverage; the MVNO currently uses MTN’s infrastructure, in accordance with a collaboration deal signed in January 2013.