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Only Candidates with €300 Million Annual Income Can Apply for Third Mobile Operator in Macedonia

The Government decided that €5 million is the minimal fee the third mobile operator should pay to obtain a frequency for offering services in mobile telephony. As Government proposed, only companies that have annual income higher than €300 million and at least two million users can apply for third mobile operator in Macedonia.

Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski recommended criteria for selecting the best bidder to the Agency for Electronic Communications , for, as he said, obtaining brand name operator, drastically decrease of the prices and liberalisation of the telecommunications market in Macedonia.

Government recommended that prices of the services offered by the potential third mobile operator to be rated with 50 points when selecting the best bidder. The frequency fee should be rated with 25 points, as well as the solvency, while level of investments should not be rated at all.

The companies should submit bank warrantee from the renowned bank in the amount offered for the use of the radiofrequencies. Future operator will be allowed to use radiofrequencies in the period of ten years, with extension of additional 10 years. The Government prompted the third mobile operator to be operational six months after being allowed to start and in the first year should cover 30% of the population. In the second year the operator should cover 50%, and in the fourth year 90% of the population.
 
Government demanded Agency for Electronic Communications to provide revision of the current reference interconnection offer in which the prices will be based on the work expenses and will be lower than retail prices offered by Makedonski Telekomunikacii to end users by December 15.

It has been announced that the Ministry of Finance will alter the Law on Public Procurements for adding the mandatory procedure for public procurement when selecting operator. For faster implementation, Ministry of transport and communications should provide licenses for base stations for new mobile operators as soon as possible.

Thirteen companies replied on the call for allocation of radiofrequencies for services in mobile telephony announced by the Agency for electronic communications under pressure by the Government, but there were no brand names of telecommunications giants among applicants. The announcement for third mobile operator will be published today.

Vladimir Nikoloski
Source: Vreme (30.10.2006)

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