FIVE WIRELESS NETWORKS TO BE COMPETING WITH BTC
Two tenders for granting five individual licences for the construction of networks within the 3.4 - 3.6 gigahertz frequency were invited on Monday (June 25) by the Commission for Regulation of Telecommunications (CRT). The licences will cover the entire country's territory and will be valid for two years. This technology is in fact a wireless alternative to the fixed telephone network of the Bulgarian Telecommunications Company (BTC). It ensures high-speed broadband access to end consumers, independent of their location, realized through a high-frequency signal. The quality of transmittance is very high (comparable and even better than the one transmitted through an optic-fibre cable), and the speed is in the range of 128 kilobites to 34 megabites per second. Wireless transmittance of the signal allows quite an economical establishment of the network that could reach any point on the country's territory. The spectrum of services to be offered cannot be ignored either: duplex transmission of voice and data in real time, access to INTERNET, fax, telex, video information and multimedia applications. That means all, for which even alternative operators rely on BTC. According to CRT's decision, anyone - even operators with a significant market influence, such as the BTC and MobilTel - could participate in the competition for the new licences. Initially, CRT intended to admit only alternative operators who would get independent access to end clients through the new networks. However, the new players on the market showed comparatively weak interest in the wireless technology. On the other hand, the two mobile operators (MobilTel and GloBul), as well as BTC insisted for equal participation in the competition. Two of the licences for the wireless technology will be of class A. The tender for them will be held on October 11, 2005 at an initial bidding price of BGN1,344,000 per licence and a minimum bidding rate of BGN100,000. The other three licences will be of class B. Bidding for them has been scheduled for October 25, 2005, the initially asked price is BGN672,000 per licence and the minimum bidding rate has been set at BGN50,000. Tender dossiers for participation in the two procedures can be purchased till August 19, included. The deadline for submitting offers for class A licences is September 19, and September 25 - for class B. Deposits of BGN100,000 are required for the first tender and BGN50,000 for the second one.