Kosovo launches tender on new operator of mobile telephony

Prishtinë, Oct 27, 2006 – The tender for the second operator of mobile telephony in Kosovo is officially launched by the Ministry of Transport and Post Telecommunication (MTPT) of Kosovo.

The Minister of MTPT, Qemajl Ahmeti, who announced the tender for the second mobile telephony service operator in Kosovo said that the main tender criteria will be published in print and broadcast media on 3 November and also posted on MTPT’s and TRA’s websites – www.mtpt.org, or www.art-ks.org/tenderi. The tender package was drafted by the Swedish consulting company Ab Stela Con. Starting from today, all interested bidders can access information on the tender, but not yet apply. The Minister then gave an overview of the main elements of the tender, a combined “auction/beauty contest” model:

– License (basic) price (€20 million) – plus the highest offered bid price (value 30%)

– The extent of coverage and by when the project would be implemented (value 30%)

– Local participation – local partnership and management, planned employment (value 20%)

– Service quality and service range (value 10%)

– Experience in mobile telephony – number of clients, years of experience, number of markets (10%)

The Minister also detailed that the license will include the right to use the GSM 900/1,800 MHz for a 15-year period. The application period is 75 days, starting from 3 November to 17 January 2007. Bids should be submitted as foreseen by the Law on Telecommunication.

By 17 January, an evaluation commission will be established, supervised or assisted by the consulting company (Ab Stela Con). Depending on the number of bids, the evaluation commission will need at least seven days to take a decision.

According to Minister Ahmeti, the process of selection of the second mobile telephony service operator is expected to be completed by late February 2007.

Minister Ahmeti highlighted the activity of illegal operators in Kosovo as a political problem, for which Kosovo institutions are not responsible and do not have competencies. “As of 1999, the issue of Mobtel activity is a political issue,” said Minister Ahmeti.

A MTPT official said that the announcement of the tender was delayed because the consulting company, Ab Stela Com needed some additional days to draft the combined “auction/Beauty Contest” model.

The companies that expressed their interest are: Telenor, Tim Mobile, Mobitel of Austria, etc. According to Minister Ahmeti, the tender is opened to all companies, including the companies from Serbia that operate illegally way in Kosovo.