Sector watchdog the Regulatory Authority for Post and Electronic Communications (Autoriteti Rregullator i Komunikimeve Elektronike dhe Postare, ARKEP) has approved plans to open more frequency bands for use by telecom service providers as it looks to update its spectrum allocation process and as part of its efforts to align more closely with EU standards. Under the plans, ARKEP has outlined a three-stage programme that would see it first renew the 900MHz and 1800MHz licences previously awarded to IPKO and Kosovo Telecom, several of which are due to expire in July this year. The second phase would take place in the second half of 2019 and would see the regulator auction or tender currently unused spectrum in the 800MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, 2100MHz and 2600MHz bands. Finally, the third phase would be launched after 2022 and would comprise the allocation of frequencies in the 3400MHz-3800MHz range, whilst the potential allocation of 700MHz and 26GHz spectrum would also be considered.
Regarding the allocation and renewal the regulator said it was considering offering licences for ten to 20 years, but its preferred duration for the concessions was 15 years. ARKEP also said it would consider imposing limits on spectrum holdings, as well as rollout obligations and the potential entry of a third operator.