Progress made in Serbia/Kosovo talks

21 May 2015

Delegations from Pristina and Belgrade have agreed on the establishment of a new fixed and mobile network operator to provide services in the Serb-dominated northern regions of Kosovo, although until such a company is operational, state-backed fixed line incumbent Telekom Srbija will fulfil the role, utilising equipment confiscated by Kosovo’s authorities in 2010. The Serbian government’s Office for Kosovo and Metohija noted in a statement that talks between the two parties in Brussels had been productive ‘on all issues that do not touch upon the issue of property and the status of Kosovo,’ but many details were still to be resolved. It was also agreed that calls between Kosovo and Serbia would be charged as long distance, rather than international. Regarding an international dialling code for Kosovo, Deputy Prime Minister Edita Tahiri pressed for the Serbian government to request an area code for Kosovo from the relevant international authorities but was rebuffed, with Belgrade’s delegation refusing to discuss the issue until guarantees are received that Telekom Srbija will be allowed to provide services throughout the territory of Kosovo.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, during talks between the two nations in 2013 Telekom Srbija was offered a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) licence so that it could provide wireless services within Kosovo. Whilst no longer required to provide services in the northern regions, Telekom Srbija may be permitted to operate as an MVNO elsewhere in Kosovo.