Author: Mikhail Doroshevich
According to Minister of Communications Valdimir Goncharenko Bletelecom bid for the third GSM 900/1800 operator license. It was planned to announce the tender in the beginning of July this year, but now Ministry of Communications changed the date to the end of May. That announcement was made by the Mr. Goncharenko at the press conference which took place on the 30th of March.
Mr. Goncharnko said: " The Ministry will be looking for a foreign investor. We need significant investments of capital in order to build up a new network". He added:" At present we have 1mln.120 thousand mobile subscribers in Belarus. To have more subscribers we need tougher competition".
It is planned that the third GSM operator network should cover 60 - 70% of the territory of Belarus before the network will be set into full commercial operation, stressed the Minister. But, he noted , that cannot be regarded as a tender requirement. Vladimir Goncharenko. As MTS and Velcom have invested $160 million each to create networks it is expected that the winner would invest for about $160 million as well.
The winner would have to pay $5 million for a country-wide GSM license, the minister said. It is quite possible that the winner will be obliged to pay some additional charges , but the Minister gave no any details on this issue.
Vladimir Goncharenko said that the third operator will operate within 900 (12 channels) and 1800 (15 channels) MHz frequency range. At present Ministry of Communications is negotiating frequency resources with Ministry of Defense on the issue of frequency resources distribution.
The idea of the tender for the third GSM operator license first appeared in the end of 2003 after Vladimir Goncahrenko's meeting with A. Lukashenko.
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