MOBILTEL WINS LAWSUIT AGAINST THE STATE
MobilTel won the lawsuit (initiated in the beginning of October) against the Council of Ministers Decree as of January 31, 2001, approving the tariff (proposed by the State Telecommunications Committee) for collection of fees from telecommunication operators. The Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) extended a ruling in favour of the first local GSM-operator, justifying it by Art. 60, Item 1 of the Bulgarain Constitution, under which such fees are payable only if they are stipulated by law. The tariff, proposed by the STC, was introduced by a decree, which is an administrative act. The other motive was that under the Telecommunications Act, the tariff should be approved by the finance minister and not by the cabinet.SAC's ruling practically adjudicates the tariff null and void and releeves the mobile phone operator of the obligation to pay more than BGL300MN for frequencies. The fees were set on the basis of the amount, paid by the Greek company OTE for the second GSM-licence. According to experts, the winning of the case on the part of MobilTel can result in a new reduction of prices for the services, offered by the first digital telephone operator in Bulgaria.Representatives of the Ministry of Transport and Telecommunications opposed the tariff for the fees charged by the STC, which made more expensive GSM-services and raised the price of the third GSM-operator to USD280MN, which is too high for the Bulgarian Telecommunications Company, Deputy Minister of Transport and Telecommunications Nikolai Nikolov said.