Posts filed under ‘UMTS’
Chilean telecoms regulator Subtel has extended the date for receiving and opening bids for 3G licences by five days, to 20 July writes BNamericas citing Subtel. The long-anticipated auction of UMTS concessions was launched in April, with bidding rules on sale until 30 June. In accordance with a Supreme Court ruling on 27 January, existing wireless players can participate in the spectrum auction, but if any company surpasses the 60MHz limit it is obliged to return some of its spectrum in other bands to the state. The three existing operators in the country are at or close to the limit: Entel PCS already has 60MHz, while Movistar and Claro have 55MHz each. Subtel has expressed that the intention of this measure is to allow a fourth operator to enter the market and focus expressly on offering 3G services.
Greek telecommunica group Cosmote has reportedly reached an agreement with Saudi Oger over the takeover of Romanian mobile operator Zapp, Business Standard Romania reports. Cosmote will pay a “little over” EUR 200 million for 100 percent of Telemobil shares, the company that owns Zapp Romania, and is expected to sign the deal next month. With this acquisition, Cosmote aims to obtain Zapp’s 3G licence for its Romanian subsidiary Cosmote Romania, which is the only Romanian mobile operator without a UMTS concession.
The board of Thailand’s National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has decided that it will award 3G mobile licences via an auction, scheduled for the third quarter of this year, reports The Nation. NTC secretary-general Suranan Wongvithayakamjorn said that a public auction is the most transparent method of frequency allocation, and one that has been adopted by many countries. The regulator must now conclude the auction terms and conditions, including minimum bid price, number of concessions, fee payment method and licence validity period, within the next two or three weeks, he said. Licensing terms of reference must be put to a public hearing. A pre-bidding conference will also be held to allow telecoms operators to learn more about the process. Suranan said the duration of the 3G permits should be at least ten years, and applicants should be Thai nationals. An NTC source recently said that four 2100MHz UMTS licences will be awarded, three with 10MHz of bandwidth and one 15MHz block. Some telecom operators have opposed using the auction method, because of the possibility of being outbid by cash-rich international firms. State-owned Thai Mobile is the only holder of 2100MHz spectrum in the country, but has failed to roll out services. Cellular market leader Advanced Info Service (AIS) launched a small scale commercial UMTS network in the 900MHz band in May 2008 and expanded the service to Bangkok in December. Second placed operator DTAC has proposed a limited launch of UMTS services using 850MHz frequencies, whilst third-ranked True Move plans to launch its first commercial 3G services in Bangkok this April, using 800MHz spectrum.
Thailand’s telecoms regulator told reporters this morning that it expects to stick to its rough timetable of issuing private companies with 3G UMTS mobile licences in the 2100MHz frequency band by the third quarter of this year, according to Reuters. Settaporn Kusripitak, one of the seven members of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), indicated that an auction of four licences remained the most probable method of awarding the concessions, but the decision on whether this will go ahead will be made on 5 February. The NTC has also scheduled issuing WiMAX wireless broadband licences by mid-year.