Slovakian regulator eyes fourth operator
With Slovakia’s 4G tender approaching, the Telecoms Office of the Slovak Republic (TU SR) has said there is room in the market for a new mobile operator to ensure an equal share of spectrum.
It is expected a fourth operator will be established in the market to implement next-generation services nationwide, thus preventing any one operator from gaining an unfair advantage when bidding in the upcoming 4G tender. The TU SR has reaffirmed this by stating the country’s three present operators; Slovak Telekom (T-Mobile), Orange and Telefónica O2 already have sufficient services to establish next-generation connectivity, making the results of the 4G auction rather moot.
Any new entrant will be issued sufficient 800MHz/1800MHz spectrum to be competitive in the market, with an option to apply for 2.6GHz. The opportunity for any new market player, however, does come with numerous stipulations. It is expected the auction winner must launch national services within six months, covering 25% of the population within one year, increasing to 70% after two years. By the end of 2017, it is expected licensees should cover 98% of the population.
In line with Slovakia’s broadband strategy, the Slovakian regulator is aggressively promoting the availability of broadband access networks. The country’s 4G LTE auction is expected in the latter half of 2012, and there will be public consultations held for 790MHz-862MHz bands, made available as a result of the analogue to digital TV switchover.