Representatives for Slovak mobile phone operator Eurotel Bratislava s.r.o. announced on September 19 it would increase the size of a deal to buy GSM equipment from Sweden's LM AB Ericsson to 106 million Deutsche marks (2 billion Sk) from the 29 million mark (555 million Sk) deal signed last year. The expansion contract includes new switches and radio base station equipment. "We were pushed to extend our contract from the original 29 million marks by increased competition in Slovakia," Eurotel Bratislava's general director, Artur Bobovnicky, said at the deal's signing ceremony.
Eurotel Bratislava, owned by the Slovak PTT, U.S. West and the Bell Atlantic Corp, said the move had come because of increased competition from Globtel a.s., a consortium of Slovak state and privately-held companies along with France Telecom Mobile International (FTMI).
Bobovnicky said Eurotel would cover the cost of the new deliveries mainly through funds raised from an $80 million revolving syndicated credit arranged earlier this year by the Bank of America International Ltd and Citibank International plc.
Eurotel Bratislava launched the second Slovak digital GSM system at the end of February 1997. The company's shareholders are Slovak Telecom with 51 percent and Atlantic West (a 50/50 joint-venture between Bell Atlantic and US West Inc) with 49 percent.
9. Oct 1997 at 0:00 | Reuters