ALL three existing mobile operators in Slovakia - Orange, Telekom and Telefónica - auctioned enough frequencies to build a national mobile 4G network, the Office for Regulation of Electronic Communications informed on January 8.

It also confirmed earlier information that a fourth company, Swan, succeeded in the auction, the Sme daily wrote. Currently, it offers phone, internet and TV services through a foxed network and operates on the mobile market as a minor virtual operator under the Swan Mobile brand in the O2 (i.e. Telefónica) network.

The auction of frequencies for mobile operators garnered €164 million for the state. Swan only auctioned frequencies in the 1800 MHz band on which a voice and data network can be serviced, but it is difficult to apply these in border regions like Komárno or the Bratislava borough of Petržalka. Head of the regulatory office Ladislav Mikuš (a Smer nominee) said he was pleasantly surprised by the presence of a fourth mobile company. He added that this should be reflected in a speedy launch of new technologies and in financially affordable services for citizens.

The first transmitters will be switched on in the coming weeks or months, according to Sme.

The Hospodárske Noviny daily wrote that Swan promises a breakthrough concept that will help the market. It plans to cover 25 percent of the population by the end of this year and to concentrate mainly on services that have weaker coverage under the current operators. Experts think that the arrival of a new operator will mainly improve and cut prices of non-voice services. Due to the €50 million investment, Swan expects to win 500,000 clients within two years.

(Source: Sme, Hospodárske Noviny)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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