An international tender for a license to operate a mobile phone network - the GSM 1800 - failed for lack of interest, the Ministry of Transport, Post and Telecommunications reported.
Stanislav Vanek, the head of the ministry's regulation department, said the ministry had not received any bids to operate the GSM 1800 mobile network by the deadline, which was set for 1:00 p.m. on April 15. He added that the ministry had received letters from three potential applicants, who announced that after analysing the market they had decided not to take part in the tender.
The Ministry issued detailed conditions for the international tender in mid-January, but later changed the conditions in March.
The new operator was expected to launch commercial operations by the end of this year, and would have had a four-year exclusive right to operate the GSM 1800 network in Slovakia .
Under the conditions of the tender, bidders had to be corporations established specifically for the purpose of operating a GSM 1800 mobile network. At least 25% of the company had to be controlled by domestic entities.
The two companies that now compete on the mobile telephone market in Slovakia were excluded from the national license tender. They were EuroTel Bratislava and Globtel GSM. Globtel launched operations on the GSM 900 network in January 1997; EuroTel followed a month later on the same frequency.
EuroTel and Globtel were allowed to apply for a regional coverage license in the GSM 1800 band only if they could demonstrate that their GSM 900 networks were saturated.