The two biggest of the three mobile phone operators in Slovakia, T-Mobile and Orange, have had their licences extended for a further ten years, but some are questioning whether they were not given away too cheap.
The Telecommunications Authority (TU) announced the news yesterday that the two companies would pay a single lump sum fee for the privilege. The TU revealed today that Orange Slovensko would be paying EUR 40,686,780 and Slovak Telekom (T-Mobile) EUR 40,766,930.
TASR newswire cites spokesman for the authority Roman Vavro as saying everything was done above board and in line with the EU regulatory framework and the State Service Act, and that the process was neutral and unbiased. The authority based its calculations on data from the operators.
Among those criticising the cheap sale of mobile licences was independent MP Igor Matovic, who hoped the licence fees would be reconsidered.
Earlier this week the Telecommunications Authority announced the interest of Vietnamese telecom giant Viettel in gaining a licence for the 800 and 2,600 MHz bands, so things on the market could get interesting with a fourth operator, and maybe generate enough competition to stop people in Slovakia having to pay among the highest mobile charges in Europe. Someone has to pay for the saturation of telecom adverts, after all.