The initial bids lodged in the Ukraine’s long awaited auction of 3G frequencies have been opened at a meeting of the National Commission for the State Regulation of Communications and Informatization (NCCIR) and its tender commission. According to news agency Interfax-Ukraine, MTS Ukraine offered the highest bids, committing to pay UAH2.708 billion (USD101.1 million) for Lot 1, UAH2.715 billion for Lot 2 and UAH2.705 billion for Lot 3. Rival operator Kyivstar reportedly offered UAH2.705 billion, UAH2.710 billion and UAH2.700 billion, respectively, for three spectrum lots, while Astelit lodged identical UAH2.703 billion offers for all three concessions. The paired frequencies up for grabs are in the bands: 1920MHz-1935MHz and 2110MHz-2125MHz; 1950MHz-1965MHz and 2140MHz-2155MHz; and 1965MHz-1980MHz and 2155MHz-2170MHz.
Going forward, the regulator plans to decide on the spectrum allocations on 23 February. The licence winners will be required to provide 3G services in every regional centre of Ukraine within 18 months of the concessions being issued. Within six years 3G connectivity should be offered in all villages with a population of over 10,000.