Mobile tender attracts one bidder

ALTERNATIVE telecom provider is the lone bidder for a combined GSM and UMTS mobile telephone license, said Telecom Office (TÚ) spokesperson Roman Vavro on May 14.

The TÚ is issuing one national license for the service, which will allow a third telecom operator to set up a third-generation (3G) mobile communications network in Slovakia.

The office is also issuing two UMTS-only licenses, for which existing GSM service providers Eurotel and Orange have already applied. Each license, good for 20 years, should bring Sk1.5 billion to the state's coffers, says the TÚ.

The UMTS standard allows for the much-hyped and little-delivered 3G mobile capabilities, which offers high speed data transfer in addition to voice communications.

While 3G licenses sparked sales bonanzas a few years ago, slow sales of 3G devices, the global economic downturn, and struggles in the telecom sector have made the licenses much less attractive.

The Canadian TIW and Norwegian Telenor have already said they will not bid because of what they describe as disadvantageous conditions set by the Telecom Office for the license.

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