Albania’s Electronic and Postal Communications Authority (Autoritetit Te Komunikimeve Elektronike Dhe Postare, AKEP) has this week awarded the country’s second largest cellco Telekom Albania an 800MHz band mobile spectrum licence, the regulator disclosed on its website. After launching a licence tender in August, AKEP’s Steering Council approved the award of 2×10MHz of spectrum (811MHz-821MHz/852MHz-862MHz) – Block ‘A3’ – on 27 September to Telekom Albania, and the allocation was formally completed on 7 October after the operator fulfilled its financial obligations. The starting bid price for the 15-year licence was set at EUR7.44 million (USD8.16 million). Telekom is expected to utilise the new frequencies for expanding and improving 4G LTE services currently operating in the 1800MHz and 2600MHz bands.
In an earlier tender in February 2019 mobile market leader Vodafone Albania claimed the ‘A2’ 800MHz block (801MHz-811MHz/842MHz-852MHz), which it added to its existing 1800MHz/2600MHz 4G resources.
A third 800MHz block – ‘A1’ (791MHz-801MHz/832MHz-842MHz) – remains unclaimed, with Albania’s third-placed cellco ALBtelecom (also an LTE 1800MHz/2600MHz operator) apparently yet to come forward with a bid.