Author: Mikhail Doroshevich
Belarussian telecoms authorities have announced the results of the second GSM standard mobile operator licence tender.
On 25 September, Russian Mobile TeleSystems was announced as a GSM licence winner.
The auction, which was opened back on 26 April, on 2 August had announced that its proposed licence bidders were Alfa-Eko, Northwest GSM, and Mobile TeleSystems, as well as Austria's Pisec and Saudi Oger of Saudi Arabia.
According to the terms of the tender, the operator must provide coverage for 70 per cent of the population and provide services with low tariffs. The operator should also begin operations on April 17, 2002. By the end of 2005, operations are expected to cover 90 per cent of the Belarus population.
Licence winner Mobile TeleSystems and the state owned company Mezdugorodnaya Sviaz' will form a joint venture, in which Mezdugorodnaya Sviaz' share of the collective investment fund will be 51 per cent.
In two months, the new joint venture expects to have licenses to design a GSM 900/1800 network as well as constructing and operating in the Belarus territory.
Mobile TeleSystems will pay US$5m (E5.4m) for the license and will pay an additional US$10m (E10.8m) immediately after receiving the license. Another US$6m (E6.5m) must also be paid during the 2003-2008 period in annual instalments to the state budget.
Tender for the license of the third GSM operator announced in Belarus [01/07/2004]
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