Банкеръ Weekly

Briefs

MOBILTEL DEFEATS BTC FOR 3G NETWORK

On March 30, Bulgaria's first GSM operator MobilTel won the negotiated bidding for a 3G telecommunication cell network of UMTS standard, A class, by offering BGN78MN. The other candidate, the Bulgarian Telecommunications Company (BTC), withdrew from the competition. Initially, the value of the licence was BGN70MN and the bid rate was fixed at BGN2MN. The real competition took less than two hours. Because of extraordinary security measures, journalists were only allowed to attend the opening. Then, the information about any new offer was transmitted on a special screen.A price amounting to BGN76MN was achieved at 11 a.m. and both candidates confirmed it. Half an hour later the bidding started at BGN78MN. In the fifteenth minute of the fourth round BTC did not resume its offer and interrupted its participation in the competition. MobilTel went on and won.Third generation mobile services will be launched in Bulgaria's five largest cities by the end of 2006, the representatives of MobilTel announced. More than EUR100MN will be invested in the building of the network by that time and the exact amount will depend on the number of subscribers. The present code, 088, will not be changed.In a seven-day term following the bidding date, the nine-member commission which conducted it will have to inform the Communications Regulation Commission about how it went and what price was achieved. Then the commission will send an informative letter to the winner and the term for paying licence fees will start expiring, the CRC Chairperson Gergana Surbova explained.Next week the commission is also going to deliver the other two 3G mobile operator licences of B class which provide a more limited frequency resource. They will be given to the other candidates - BTC and GloBul. No second tender will be held, because we have two licences and two candidates. Once the military spectrum frequencies are freed, companies will also be able to apply for extending their band, Mrs. Surbova added. Apart from mobile telephony, 3G mobile networks also provide access to the INTERNET and data transmission. The speed and quality of the link is much higher than the one provided by 2G networks. Thanks to the 3G technology, new kinds of services are now possible - video telephony, video conference link, high-speed telemetry, real-time games, interactive transmission, broad-band voice, music and film transmission.

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